Next year, Levi’s® will kick off the 150th anniversary celebration of this global icon, one that has seen so many iterations over its long and illustrious history. Button fly, straight leg, Red Tab may be the foundational blueprint, but each year sees a new, slightly re-interpreted fit of the original 501® to coincide with our current cultural and stylistic moment. This year, to tap into the comfort so many are taking from all things late ‘90s, it’s the Levi’s® 501® ‘90s jean. With a more relaxed fit through the seat and leg, this Levi’s® 501® perfectly captures that late ‘90s vibe, when looser – and even a little slouchy – meant just the right amount of attitude.
To celebrate the past, present and future of this globally beloved icon – and to help launch its latest iteration in Asia, the 501® ‘90s – Levi’s® has partnered with five visionaries across South East Asia who each perfectly embody the spirit of the Original 501®, and possess a unique perspective that embraces the change needed to inspire growth and personal evolution. Featured in the campaign is Indonesian artist and illustrator Diela Maharanie, Malaysian model and embroidery artist Sheena Liam, Singaporean rapper and songwriter Yung Raja, Thai makeup artist extraordinaire turned Thai silk advocate Pearypie, and Filipino model, actress and all around creative Issa Pressman. To capture the voice and spirit of South East Asia, each visionary will add their flair to a single pair of Original 501® jeans which will travel across five countries from one visionary to another before culminating in the 501® Day event in Thailand, where the final artwork will be revealed to the public.
“The original 501® is a true icon and has been for almost 150 years. It’s a foundational piece in everyone’s closet, and the perfect blank canvas for individual style and self-expression, which was the inspiration behind the Travelling 501®. At Levi’s® creativity and originality have long been some of our core tenets as a brand, which is why we’re delighted to collaborate with these 5 visionaries who are all trailblazers in their respective countries, and can’t wait to see what they do with the 501®!”, Herve Bullot, Marketing Director, East Asia Pacific.
What began as a piece of highly durable workwear by the middle of the 20th century, would become one of the most iconic pieces of clothing ever made. A badge of youthful rebellion, a staple of casual style, a canvas for creative self-expression – the Original 501® jean is all things to all people which is what makes it so ideal for customisation. But most of all, it is a catalyst that changed the way we think about clothes. It helped us understand that a single item could be the launchpad for a person’s signature style. The Travelling 501® perfectly embodies the spirit of the original in that whether it’s worn painted and customised, ‘80s-style faded and slim, ripped-up and baggy a la ‘90s grunge, or “borrowed” dad-style, the Levi’s® 501® transcends trends and has long signified effortless cool across generations. The Travelling 501® however, emphasises that it also signifies this across borders.
In Malaysia, local visionary Sheena Liam lends her creative outlook to the campaign, bringing her signature embroidery art to The Travelling 501®. Having travelled around the globe after winning the 2nd season of Asia’s Next Top Model, Sheena turned to embroidery as a means of self-expression between flights. Based in the vibrant island of Penang, her work explores the self, hair and its proprietary role in womanhood. Armed with a needle and thread, Sheena weaves her art onto the Levi’s® 501® as the canvas, combining her love for both fashion and art to create something wonderful to celebrate self-expression on 501® Day.
“With denim, nostalgia can be a source of both comfort and style. Having that favourite worn-in pair of jeans from the past is what we aim to capture with the new 501® ‘90s jean–it taps into that vintage look & feel, but it’s been made fresh and modern for today. It’s inspired by the way people were wearing our 501s in the late ‘90s. A bit more relaxed, midrise, with just the right amount of bagginess in the leg – easy, effortless and cool.” – Karyn Hillman, Chief Product Officer, Levi Strauss & Co.
Since 1873, the Levi’s® 501® has never gone out of style. And it never will.
About the Levi’s® brand
The Levi’s® brand epitomises classic American style and effortless cool. Since their invention by Levi Strauss & Co. in 1873, Levi’s® jeans have become one of the most recognizable garments of clothing in the world—capturing the imagination and loyalty of people for generations. Today, the Levi’s® brand portfolio continues to evolve through a relentless pioneering and innovative spirit that is unparalleled in the apparel industry. Our range of leading jeanswear and accessories are available in more than 110 countries, allowing individuals around the world to express their personal style. For more information about the Levi’s® brand, its products and stores, please visit levi.com.