Everyone knows what it means to have a favorite denim piece, whether jacket, shirt or jeans. They’re super comfortable and worn and frayed in just the right way. The denim is supple and soft and perhaps artfully altered with patching, chain-stitching or distressing. The mere sight of them in your closet can inspire nostalgic memories of good times past. If we’re honest about it, old denim is one of the main reasons we love new denim … eventually we’ll wear it into perfection.
That’s the beauty of our newest line: Levi’s® Authorized Vintage, a collection of pre-worn Levi’s® denim. The collection includes pieces that are either 100% unaltered or carefully retooled with minimal adjustments by Levi’s® own master tailors. We’ve preserved the integrity of the original styles like the 501®, 505™ and 517™. Levi’s® Authorized Vintage is the most authentic vintage on the market—made by Levi’s® from start to finish.
Denim is among the few fabrics that really gets better with age.
How did we, for the first time in our company’s history, launch a sustainable, scalable vintage business?
Levi’s was approached by a collector who had nearly 65,000 pieces of authentic, made in the U.S.A. Levi’s® denim. Thankfully, the owner loved denim as much as we do and stored and preserved the pieces in impeccable condition for over two decades.
Impressed with the archive-quality of the pieces — a true treasure trove of Levi’s history — we acquired the entire stock. It included thousands of classic jeans and Trucker Jackets, along with hundreds of artfully personalized keepsakes, and rare exclusives from Levi’s® most collectible collaborations. Like a time capsule, the Levi’s® Authorized Vintage stock reveals the evolution of Levi’s®, and the powerful ways in which the people who wear our clothes have made them their own.
Beyond the vintage look, the Levi’s® Authorized Vintage collection fits our brand mission in an important way. One of our guiding principles as a company is a commitment to innovating and investing in long-term sustainable manufacturing practices. Up-cycling (also known as creative re-use) pre-worn jeans reduces waste by reusing a durable resource: denim. The Levi’s® Authorized Vintage program encourages conscious consumption and reinforces the lasting value of Levi’s® brand jeans.
“Denim is among the few fabrics that really gets better with age,” says James ‘JC’ Curleigh, Executive VP and President of Global Brands. ”We want to encourage our customers to think about the sustainable nature of vintage and feel good about buying it from us.”
Levi’s® Authorized Vintage launched in conjunction with the new Levi’s® flagship and tailor shop in New York City’s Soho neighborhood on November 14, 2017. Currently, Levi’s® Authorized Vintage is only available in our New York and San Francisco stores, including Meatpacking, Market Street, Williamsburg and, of course, the new SoHo flagship store, though we have plans to take it global.
In our stores you’ll find altered styles, like the 501CT™, as well as pure pairs ready for customizing by our master tailors. “The tailors in our tailor shops are experts,” says JC. “They’re the most qualified people on the planet to properly alter these incredible pairs of vintage, not just because they’re master sewers, but because they know what to fix, and — maybe more importantly — what not to fix to keep the quality and integrity of each pair intact.”
So, the next time you’re in NYC, drop by to see the world’s finest collection of vintage Levi’s® denim and visit our tailors to custom fit your favorite new pair of jeans.