Our Fab Favorites: 1933 Levi’s® 501®

Unzipped Staff
Levi Strauss & Co.
August 5, 2020

Our Fab Favorites asks Levi Strauss & Co. insiders for the low-down on their top picks from the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives.

A few months ago, Historian Tracey Panek caught up with Una Murphy, Levi’s® Senior Designer for Innovation, to learn about one of Una’s favorite pieces: a 1933 Levi’s® 501®.

“To me it’s a really touchstone garment,” said Una. “There’s so much history evident in this one jean.”

Worn by an Arizona cowboy, this 501® still has saddle marks worn into the pant, along with water marks on the jean, which indicate that he likely rode through water on horseback and that he cuffed the jeans. Additionally, the red cast of the indigo shows that it had been dyed after indigo had been synthesized — the earliest jeans in our Archives were dyed with plant-based indigo, which has a green cast. And if you look closely, you can see loom chatter in some areas of the garment, which is caused by being woven on an old shuttle loom.

“To me this is an incredibly authentic pair of Levi’s®, from being authentically worn in and used to an authentic representation of denim manufacturing in the United States,” said Una.

Watch the video to see Una walk through all the unique details of the 1933 Levi’s® 501®.