Every year on May 20th, Levi’s® celebrates the birthday of the jean that started it all - the original blue jean, the Levi’s® 501®. May 20th, 1873 was the date of Levi’s patent for the rivet pocket and everyone who has worn Levi’s® 501® original jeans contributed to their ever-changing story. This season brings a first: Levi’s x karla 501 Day Collection. The 501® is the original customizable product. People have been customizing their 501®s since day one – from the California mines to Woodstock to Coachella. So it’s only natural that Karla’s customization is rooted in the 501®.
In honor of this year’s Levi’s® 501® Day, Levi’s® teamed up with Karla Welch – stylist, creative visionary, and founder of x karla – to put her own creative spin on the iconic 501® and a number of Levi’s® classics. “It’s all very customization focused,” says Welch of the collaboration, which she hopes will inspire others to dream up creative new ways to customize their Levi’s®. “They’re original designs based on the parameters of utilizing a 501® or an existing Levi’s® pattern.”
Along with two new versions of the 501®—a wide-leg flare version and an original version with a shiny red patent leather back pocket—the collection includes a boiler suit, a pleated jean, a red pocket Western shirt, an oversized cropped Trucker, and, of course, the leather fringe Trucker. Most of the pieces come in dark indigo denim—a nod to the idea that these pieces represent the future, rather than the present, of vintage clothing. “I wanted to imagine what the future of vintage was,” says Welch. “If people inhabit Mars 200 years from now, what are the kids going to wear? This idea of creating something that would eventually become an iconic piece of vintage clothing is the basis of the whole collection.”
Ultimately, though, it’s all about showcasing the incredible bandwidth of something as enduring as the Levi’s® 501®. “Good design always lasts,” says Welch. “I think it’s probably the most iconic piece of clothing there is. And it will withstand the test of time.”
The Levi’s® x Karla collection arrives at Melbourne Central May 20th. Customisation designed by Karla is also available from the Levi’s® Tailor Shop