In 1972, Levi Strauss International launched production, distribution and marketing in Brazil to tap into the country’s tremendous potential. Fifty years later, the team is continuing to harness opportunities to bring Levi’s® to even more Brazilians.
To celebrate the occasion, here are a few fun facts about LS&Co.’s presence in Brazil through the years:
- 1960s: A decade before Levi Strauss & Co. began operating in Brazil, Peace Corps workers first arrived wearing Levi’s® jeans. The youthful U.S. ambassadors to the South American country introduced Brazilians to Levi’s® blue denim copper-riveted 501® jeans and other Levi’s® products.
- 1977: Brazil’s first Community Involvement Teams kicked off in 1977. Over the years, Brazil employees have participated in a variety of worthy causes like donating clothing and healthcare items to orphanages or raising funds for daycare and community centers.
- 1979: Levi’s® were often the favored jean of young activists, as depicted in this 1979 Brazilian advertisement.
- 1980: LS&Co. opened a large plant in Brazil in October 1980. Bob Grohman, future LS&Co. CEO, inaugurated the plant and commented, “Our Brazilian operation has matured into a big company that is a significant segment of Levi’s® total operations. The workforce has grown from 50 employees to over 1,000.” By 1994, more than half of all Levi’s® in South America were made in Brazil.
- 1982: Brazil was LS&Co.’s fastest growing international market in 1982.
- 1990: The first Levi’s®-only retail stores opened in 1990 in locations like Belem, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro.
To mark 50 years of business in the country, the team in Brazil is launching a local campaign titled “Carregando Novas Histórias,” or “Loading New Stories.” The campaign features Brazilian influencers sharing their stories about Levi’s® products and their iconic status with all generations.
The team also mailed 501 “blue tickets,” which could be exchanged for a pair of 501® jeans, to influencers, current and former employees, vendors, partners, media and more.