May 2021

Portrait shots of Emma ChamberlainPortrait shots of Emma Chamberlain

Though Emma Chamberlain is a true original, she understands that there’s still plenty of creativity and inspiration to draw from the past. At least in terms of her wardrobe, which she describes as 90 percent vintage. “The majority of my closet is vintage,” she says. “So it’s really hard for me not to wear it consistently.” The trick of making it her own is to simply throw out the rules of how it was worn back in the day. “Instead of maybe doing what would be expected of a pair of jeans from the ‘80s, I might style it totally different in a way that makes sense to me.”

Emma chamberlain with a black Levi's tank and Levi's 501 shorts. A quote overlaid on the top says, "You're taking care of the planet a little bit when you're vintage shopping or thrift shopping." - Emma Chamberlain

For Emma, whose unique voice and style serves as inspiration for her 10 million Youtube followers, shopping vintage also means an opportunity to find a diamond in the rough. “You’re finding a one-of-a-kind piece when you’re buying vintage stuff, and you have to treasure hunt a little bit.” But the payoff, for her, is that she can find something different from what everyone else is wearing. And, when it comes to the perfect pair of vintage Levi’s® 501®s, it’s all about what speaks to her. “I will see a pair of vintage Levi’s from across the store and I will hear them say, ‘we’re meant to be together.’”

The sustainability element of vintage is important as well. When you’re buying from a thrift store, you’re not taking anything more out of the earth, plus you’re wearing something that may otherwise have ended up in a landfill. “You’re kind of taking care of the planet a little bit when you’re vintage shopping or thrift shopping.”

As far as how she customizes her vintage 501®s? Sky’s the limit. Paint them, chop them up, add some colorful stitching. “You can’t go wrong when you have a perfect canvas like that.”

We caught up with Emma on the set of our 501® Originals Campaign shoot, see what she has to say.