1954 501 JEANS RIGID

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  • In the mid 1950s Levi Strauss & Co. started selling the 501® Jeans on America’s east coast for the first time (the western states had been the only sales territory since the jeans came out in 1873). Many folks had already been introduced to the jeans at dude ranches, but to some, this button fly work pant was something they had never encountered. In order to make potential consumers comfortable with the company’s products, LS&Co. introduced a zipper version of the button fly Shrink-To-Fit® jeans in 1954: the 501Z®. It had everything long- time wearers loved: the silhouette, the tough but flexible fabrics, rivets, etc.

    Retailers carried both the 501® Jean and its zippered brother, the 501Z® Jeans, and everyone got the pair that worked best for them. The 501Z® Jeans had many fans. It was given the new number 502 in 1967 and remained in the line until 1976, when the pre- shrunk jean surpassed it in popularity. However, when it first came out, LS&Co. received a letter from an oldtimer somewhere in the west who wasn’t too thrilled with the innovation.

    The actual letter has disappeared, but company legend has it that the writer said- “Why the heck did you put a zipper in your jeans? It’s like peeing into the jaws of an alligator.”

    • Cone Mills 12oz Red Selvage Denim (14oz after wash)
    • Zip fly
    • Two large back pockets with concealed rivets
    • “Two Horse” leather patch
    • Big “E” Red Tab
    • Twin needle stitched Arcuate
  • Levi's introduced Levi’s Vintage Clothing to keep the history of Levi's denim alive. Since 1999, the famous historical originals from the Levi's archives in San Francisco, dating back to 1880, are faithfully reincarnated in this limited edition range. Their inspiration is the hardworking man that the Levi’s Brand has equipped for the last 140 years.