levi's jeans longjohn

A New Archives Episode

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.

levi's tracey panek

The Content Of The New Video

In the 1930s, Levi’s focussed on the upcoming Western life era with cowboys, and rodeo riders. They developed a special Western Wear line and their promotional character Saddleman, a tough cowboy. This period was also the start when they made the iconic silk-screened graphic store and event banners as advertising for the Levi’s brand. Nowadays these banners a hard to find and high prized collectors items.

In this new video, Tracey is showing collected pieces from this era as the Western Wear line with rodeo shirts and their so-called ‘smile pockets’, but also a lot of stories of people and their favorite outfits. One of the highlights is a pair of 501‘s worn by a genuine cowboy. But, there’s a lot to see and learn as many rodeo stars are coming along, customized denim shirts, and even a collab jacket which they made in the early 2000s with Pendleton.

Also, a professional bull rider from Walla Walla, Washington is sharing his Levi’s story, why he prefers their 501’s and their strong heritage to his profession.

levi's tracey panek

levi's tracey panek

Watch The Western Wear Episode

Step inside Levi’s archives and go back to the 1930s and hear the story of how they were popularized as a key costume in Hollywood Westerns.


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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.