Levi's 501 Originals

I was the only kid over the park with cardboard jeans

The first object to appear on The Obsessive had to be a significant and important one. It had to be an object that represents the values and beliefs of The Obsessive; a true authentic original. Levi’s 501s were created around 1870 by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss. Jacob made a pair of “pants” from a white cotton duck fabric he bought from Levi. Once they were sewn together, Jacob used saddle rivets to fasten the pockets, making the pants very strong and durable. They applied for a patent for the new pants, which was granted in 1873.

My father has only ever worn Levi 501s. He would track imported ones down when he was a mod; and when I was old enough, he bought me my first pair. They were like cardboard, but I immediately fell in love with them. Then, in the ’80s, BBH made the Laundrette TV commercial for Levi’s and those cardboard-stiff, shrink-to-fit jeans became the cool thing again.

Levi’s have cottoned onto the fact that there’s a target audience that will pay for quality long-lasting jeans and have thankfully started to produce the original jeans again in their Vintage range. The current favourite year of the 501 is the 1947 version made from 12oz Cone Mills denim.



Category: Clothing

Country of Origin USA

Brand/Make/Model: Levi's 501

Designer: Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis 

Type: Jeans

Year1901 to date (Vintage range)

Why:  The original jeans

Website: www.levisvintageclothing.com