It was the uniform of cowboys and miners during the California Gold Rush. And true to the battler spirit, it came out swinging in the face of adversity.
From the time businessman Levi Strauss introduced blue jeans reinforced with copper rivets in 1873, his brand was a byword for denim and inclusivity – until it lost its cachet to designer jeans in the ’90s, and cult labels as well as fast fashion in the 2000s.
But like everything in life, it has come full circle: From a brand that millennials distanced themselves from (because it was sooo baby boomer and Gen X), it has become one that younger millennials are embracing (because it is sooo against mainstream trends).
The hunt for vintage 501s to be customised into unique personal pieces kick-started Levi’s focus on improving its products. It developed softer, more comfortable denim to rival yoga pants. Classics like its women’s 501s were modernised in 2014 to a slimmer, cropped version; and in 2016, it had stretch and skinny 501s for both sexes. Its latest: making denim eco with digitised finishing and fast, clean laser designs instead of chemical-based manual techniques.
Levi’s progressiveness isn’t just in line with the mood of the times; it has rightfully put the brand back in the spotlight.
This story was first published in Her World’s July 2019 issue.