Through the many eras and styles of the last century and a half, there has been one constant: the Levi’s 501. Straight leg, button fly — it’s the iconic blue jean embraced by everyone from factory workers, to movie stars, to rockstars, to computer programmers, to Presidents, to some of the most prominent voices in the movement space…and on May 20th, we’re celebrating 501 Day, the 148th birthday of the original blue jean. For Levi’s 501 Day 2021, we’re shining a spotlight on a new generation of Levi’s Originals. Seven original voices who know how to effortlessly blend style, creativity, authenticity, and purpose — Naomi Osaka, Hailey Bieber, Emma Chamberlain, Barbie Ferreira, Jaden Smith, Marcus Rashford, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — as well as their favorite ways to wear their Levi’s 501s. Each one demonstrates a modern expression of what has made the Levi’s 501 a cultural icon.
A perfect canvas for creative expression, the 501 has been a staple of youthful style since the mid-twentieth century. From Marlon Brando in 1953’s The Wild One, to the well-worn Summer of Love style during the late 1960s, to 1970s punk, to the dark indigo, oversized look of NWA in the late ‘80s, the 501 has long been the go-to for cool kids. And much of that comes down to the 501’s classic simplicity. Dressed up or dressed down, worn fitted or oversized, dark or faded, straightforward or customized, it’s the heart and soul of not only Levi’s but of modern fashion. A humble work pant made from durable denim with a silhouette that can be worn by many. The grandfather of all blue jeans, any jean today is an iteration of this original. With the Levi’s 501, no two pairs are the same, and that makes it a true original.
“The 501 is the original blue jean so it made sense to celebrate our icon with this cast of ORIGINALS. We are inspired by the emotional connection they each have with the 501 – their personal styles & stories make the jean so uniquely their own.” — Karen Riley-Grant, Levi’s Chief Marketing Officer
Of course, the story of the Levi’s 501 is not just about enduring style. It’s also about sustainability. It’s a throwback to the days when things were built to last, swimming against the tide of today’s disposable fashion. Levi’s 501s are not only highly durable, but they also look better with age, meaning you’ll hold onto them for longer. And, thanks to Levi’s Tailor Shop, 501 jeans can also be repaired, giving them an even longer lifespan. Plus, with Levi’s Water<Less, the modern 501 is finished using up to 96% less water than in typical denim finishing, making them a much more sustainable denim option.
All of this will come to a head on May 20th, 501 Day with a full day of programming featuring Levi’s Originals talent – Coffee Talk with Emma Chamberlain, Hailey Bieber and Barbie Ferreira on YouTube Live, Naomi Osaka and Marcus Rashford gaming on Twitch, YouTube Live performances from the Levi’s Haus featuring Kehlani, Eric Nam, Joyce Wrice, and Duckwrth, and a conversation covering everything from personal style to the history of the 501 on Clubhouse’s Culture Club featuring our 501 Originals with a very special guest host. See below for the full schedule.