Monday, May 20, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

Levis (via
The best kind of fashion is the sort which impacts people not just because it looks nice but because it genuinely makes their lives better. That might sound like a high and mighty statement but just try shuffling about in your seat, breathing out, walking more than 50m in comfort or even going to the loo. I'd be happy to bet that all of those things are much easier to do now than they were 200 years ago, thanks to brilliant innovations in fabric and design as well as social progress.

Sorry, that doesn't sound very sexy does it? But actually it is, especially in the hands of Levi's 501 jeans which are celebrating their 140th birthday today. And don't they look good on it? In the video which Levi's has made to mark the anniversary, 501s are branded "the Uniform of Progress". When you see them next to images of civil rights campaigners, bridge builders and Gay Rights protesters that certainly makes sense. As a side thought, funny that the birthday should fall on a day when everyone is getting up in arms about gay marriage. A good omen for the right result.

But I wonder if Levis somehow magically engineered the recent turnaround in the 501's trend fortunes? Because, somehow, for umpteenth time in 140 years 501s (and the gazillions of denim incarnations which descend from them) are what we all want to wear right now. Good old blue jeans, not too loose and definitely not too skinny-jean-tight. And we're (probably) not even cowboys, farmers or miners. Clever, that.

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