As a college student, back in the old days, we didn’t have a lot of money, but it never stopped us from looking totally cool. We all wore jeans back then. It wasn’t how much you paid for the jeans – it was all about how they fit. The button fly was a pain to put on and take off, but hey – they were cool.
At the time, the only department stores that sold Levi’s were Sears and Penney’s. Being associated with old people, (you know, over 25) we wouldn’t be caught dead in either store. Nope, we shopped the local Army surplus store – an amazing place! There were stacks of 501 jeans, safari jackets, Mexican wedding shirts, and the favorite of the guys, huarache sandals!
Anyway, after we paid our $5 for the jeans, we would run home, soak them in water in the tub, let them dry a little – so they weren’t dripping, and put them on to dry. Viola! They would dry-to-fit. In the summer time they would dry quickly. In the winter – not so much.
Of course we all had tight little teenage bodies that would look good in just about anything, so the form-fitting pants were perfect for flaunting what we had – if we had any.
Flash forward to today. Levi’s are no longer the original fashion of the U.S.A. Levi’s are global. The big markets are in Asia and the ads no longer use only American models.
India has given us the new face of Levi’s jeans, Akshay Kumar – Bollywood actor, model, marshall arts expert and Levi’s “Live Unbuttoned” man.
Last year Kumar caused quite the scandal during Lakme Fashion Week when he had his Levi’s unbuttoned on the catwalk by his wife Twinkle.
Will Levi’s be able to rebrand itself as a high-end clothing company to compete with brands like Joe’s Jeans and True Religion? Is such a market sustainable? The company thinks so. Would you spend almost $200 for a pair of Levi’s? Time will tell.
Enjoy a blast from the past with a 501 ad from 1994: