Levi's 501
by Stephen Garner

Levi’s has released a three-part documentary film celebrating the 501 jean and its place in American history, entitled The 501 Jean: Stories of an Original, on its website, This release coincides with the celebration of 100 years of partnership with Cone Mills Denim in North Carolina and the Levi’s brand. The original Levi’s 501 button fly jean, the first jean ever, was born on Mary 20, 1873.

The three-part film, which is a story of modern America and the lasting impact the original 501 jean has had on cultural history, features interviews with such diverse personalities as Henry Rollins, John Baldessari, Scott Schuman, Andy Spade, Mark McNairy, Jim Walrod, Michael Polish, Steven Alan, Greg Chapman and, Josh Peskowitz.

In the first episode of The 501 Jean: Stories of an Original (above), Levi’s traces the 501 Jean’s journey from a utilitarian garment for coal miners, cowboys, industrial workers, all the way to the creative workers who continue to wear it today.

The film is narrated by folk musician Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, a protégé of the late Woody Guthrie. In addition, Earnest Greene of Washed Out contributes to the original score.

The documentary has already been screened in NYC, London, Buenos Aires and Caracas, and there will also be subsequent screenings around the globe.