levis longjohn

The Levi’s Archives

The new episode of From the Archies by Tracey Panek, the historian of Levi’s, is focused on Western Wear. In this episode, they highlight again some rare (denim) styles from the archives in San Francisco which hold over 135,000 historical items of Levi’s as garments, catalogs, advertisements, and artifacts from all over the world.


The Tradition Of Repurposing And Reusing

Levi’s have always had a long after-life. And the tradition of repurposing and reusing runs deep. In this new episode ‘From the Levi’s Archives,’ they highlight many stories that are linked to archival pieces. It all started back in the 19th century when blue-collar workers as miners and carpenters used to patch their waist overalls so they could wear them longer, or to pass them to the next person to wear.




The Content Of The Video

In the video, Tracey Panek is showing one of their oldest pairs of waist overalls from 1879 that was worn by three different people. They know this because of the different knee marks on the pants. Another remarkable pair is from the 1930s with a cut-off leg, which was probably used to save another pair.

In the late 1980s, Levi’s made a tv commercial with a stranded couple that used a pair of 501’s in order to tow the car as they were stranded in the middle of the desert. This story is based on an original story and a 1930’s pair that is also part of Levi’s archive.

Also, in the video, you can see stories and examples of Levi’s pairs from the 1960s that were customized with fabrics on the legs to make them wider so they could easily wear to with boots.

Watch the new episode of the inspiring series of ‘From the Archives’ by Levi’s here;


Showcase your brand or product on Long John to reach your target audience, read more about it here, or send an email for the possibilities: wouter@long-john.nl

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.