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From the Archives: Glad You Asked…

Tracey Panek, LS&Co. Historian
Levi Strauss & Co.
December 11, 2019

Every year, the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives receives hundreds of questions from around the globe. Whether it’s a query about the age of a Levi’s® garment or a search for an elusive Levi’s® advertisement, curious fans and LS&Co. employees want to know more. In this series, I address select questions.

Levi’s® Vintage Stripes

vintage stripes pants

Q: “Hi Tracey, can you give me some idea of how vintage these jeans are? They were worn by my client’s mother.” – A fan from the United States

A: This pair of STA-PREST pants date to about 1969 and is identical to a pair in our Archives that was never worn and includes all the original tags. Check out the story that I wrote about our STA-PREST line in 2018.

Jumbo Jeans

Levi's jumbo jeans

Q: Paul Bart, an employee at the Levi’s® Schildergasse Store in Cologne, Germany, emailed me when a customer came in with a giant pair of jeans: “We were wondering if you might have some knowledge or information about these pants, as to its origin or value?”

A: We have several of these jumbo Levi’s® jeans in our Archives. Giant Levi’s® were a popular display at stores where Levi’s® were sold, as you can see from this 1960 photo of Herb Phillipson’s shop in Rome, New York. They were paired in his display window with tiny Levi’s® jeans. It looks like this pair dates to the 1970s or later.

Rare Levi’s® Kicks

Levi's sneakers archives

Q: Master Sneaker Designer Steven Smith contacted me with a simple question and a photo: “Do you have these?”  

A: The short answer to Steven’s query was, “No.” Although the Levi’s® brand has sold sneakers, including these from the 1970s known as Levi’s® for Feet, there are few shoes in the LS&Co. Archives — and even fewer sneakers. Thankfully, Steven then connected me with Ariana Peters and her two sisters from Florida known as the Chicks With Kicks. “We have the largest vintage, rare sneaker collection in the world,” Ariana said. Among the array? Two  pairs of rare Levi’s®  sneakers, which the sisters agreed to sell to the Archives.