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The 150th Anniversary Of Levi’s’ 501 Jeans

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the original Levi’s 501 jeans style. The 501 goes way back in time and is also the original template for many other jeans designs. The 501 has been worn by millions of world changers, daredevils, adventurers, thinkers, icons, and creatives during all those years, and as a celebration, Levi’s is sharing a few of these true stories.

levi's 501

levi's 501

The Greatest Story Ever Worn

These original Levi’s stories are released as part of the ‘The Greatest Story Ever Worn‘ campaign. These three short films are directed by Martin de Thurah and Melina Matsoukas. Entitled ‘The Greatest Story Ever Worn‘, the trilogy takes us on a global journey through some original memories of wearers of the iconic 501 jeans. It shows that this jeans style is way more than just a piece of clothing, it’s a lifestyle.

With these videos, Levi’s inspires a new denim generation that can write the next chapter. This ever-evolving story brings together many characters, events, ambitions, and memories, from everyday heroes to incredible icons.

levi's 501

levi's 501

levi's 501

The Trilogy Of The 501 Stories

Precious Cargo

The first three true 501 stories are released but expect more coming this celebration year. The first film ‘Precious Cargo‘ is based on a historical fact in Kingston, Jamaica, in the 1970s. Fishermen were importing 501 jeans from The States to the docks of Kingston and Jamaicans exporting their style back to the world by the metric ton. You will see how the iconic Levi’s jeans were embraced and adopted by the country.

Fair Exchange

The second film in the series, ‘Fair Exchange‘, tells the story of a family’s beloved cow and their son who trades it for a pair of 501 jeans, much to his family’s dismay. A cold Georgian winter forms the backdrop to a film that explores the 501 as a beacon for something bigger, a dream.

Legends Never Die

The last one is called ‘Legends Never Die‘. It tells the true story of a Levi’s fan who wanted to be buried in his 501 jeans. A last wish that many people have entrusted to the brand over the years. And this particular fan had also requested that all attendees at his funeral also wear their 501s. Another example that the famous Levi’s 501 jeans is more than just a piece of clothing. It’s a piece of many people worldwide, all sharing a unique story.


Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.