The iconic Levi’s 501 jean was the first ever blue jean to be made, being born on 20th May 1873, over 140 years ago. You can read the history of Levi’s as I’ve got a dedicated post to it so I wont go into detail, but the 501 jean is just as popular now, if not more popular, than it ever has been. In celebration of 100 years of partnership with Cone Mills Denim in North Carolina, Levi’s have presented us with a short documentary film entitled The 501® Jean: Stories of an Original.
In this short film, it explores the lasting impact the Original 501 jean has had on cultural history and it gives a great inside look to the jean itself. The film is narrated by Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, one of folk music’s most enduring characters. A protégé of Woody Guthrie in the late ’50s, Elliott has been hailed as an influence on artists from Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, to the Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead. Earnest Greene of Washed out contributes to the original score.
The 501 documentary has been screened in New York City, London, Buenos Aires and Caracas already, but don’t worry, for those of you who want to watch it, it launched yesterday online at the Levi’s website! You can view the trailer above and the three part series below, but there will also be subsequent screenings around the globe in case you want to see it on the big screen.
EPISODE 1: THE 501® GOES TO WORK
In the first episode of The 501® Jean: Stories of an Original, Levi’s trace the 501® Jean’s journey from a utilitarian garment for coal miners, cowboys, industrial workers, all the way to the creative workers who continue to wear it today.
EPISODE 2: STYLE
For the first time Levi’s® are worn for their look, rather than function. With the cowboy films of the 1930s, everybody wanted a piece of the cowboy lifestyle. Hollywood stars adopt it for decades and the 501® becomes a style icon: continuing to inspire contemporary designers and style leaders.
EPISODE 3: REBELLION
The 501® is a symbol for countercultures and has been sewn into the fabric of America interpreted many ways over many years. The Rebels of the 1950s proudly wore the 501® jean – adopted from the laborers after the Great Depression – and made it a symbol of irreverence and solidarity. Worn by everyone from James Dean and Marlon Brando to Jack Kerouac and Jackson Pollock, the 501® jean became the emblem of youth and a symbol of rebellion. Rebels across the decades are united through outspokenness, individualism and their love of the 501®.
You can see the jeans featured in the films below and you can also shop them too, just click the corresponding names of them to head to Levi’s to pick them up! What do you think?