Last week during the 65th Grammy Awards, the Levi’s® brand introduced three short films to kick off the Greatest Story Ever Worn campaign, which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the 501® jean.
The Levi’s® 501® jean is one of the most iconic pieces of clothing in human history and has been worn all over the world — transcending borders, cultures, languages and generations.
The jean’s seamless ability to fit into every lifestyle has led to a lifetime of stories and memories woven into its legacy. The campaign’s short films, directed by Martin de Thurah and Melina Matsoukas, explore original stories from around the world and demonstrate how the Levi’s® 501® jean has influenced culture and left a lasting imprint on people’s lives.
The Grammy Awards were the perfect event to premiere the films, as the Levi’s® brand has a long-standing history with both musicians and fans. Ahead of the awards show, first-time Grammy nominee Anitta wore two Levi’s® denim looks at the Spotify Best New Artist party in Los Angeles, and Bad Bunny, winner of the 2023 Grammy Award for “Best Música Urbana Album,” performed in a light-wash pair of Levi’s® 501® jeans.
The first film in the Greatest Story Ever Worn campaign, “Precious Cargo,” shares how 501® jeans made their way to Kingston, Jamaica, in the 1970s and how the country made the jeans uniquely their own. Directed by Melina Matsoukas and shot by Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young, the film is a celebratory exploration of an island’s distinct style, rhythm and soul felt across the globe.
The second film, “Fair Exchange,” tells the story of a beloved family bell cow and the son who, much to his family’s dismay, swapped the pet for a pair of 501® jeans. Directed by Martin de Thurah and shot by acclaimed cinematographer Kasper Tuxen, the film explores 501® jeans as a beacon for something bigger — a dream.
The third film, “Legends Never Die,” tells the true story of one devoted Levi’s® wearer who requested to be buried in his 501® jeans — a final wish shared by many over the years — as well as for all funeral attendees to wear their 501® jeans for the occasion. Also directed by Martin de Thurah, the film is a beautiful meditation on the type of collective love that would inspire a group of people to show up in denim for a beloved family member and friend. It is a celebration of humanity and the inextricable connection between a man, his community and his truly lived-in Levi’s® 501® jeans.
The Levi’s® brand will continue its connection to music and arts as the exclusive global partner of Rolling Loud, the first and largest hip-hop music festival. The Rolling Loud x Levi’s® partnership includes a capsule collection of merchandise for the festivals (which kick off in March in Los Angeles), Tailor Shops at each venue and a special 501® Day concert series in Tokyo, Paris, London and San Francisco on May 20, celebrating the day the patent for riveted pants was granted in 1873.
“Music chose us, we didn’t choose music, but we certainly love the marriage,” said Chris Jackman, vice president, Global Consumer Marketing. “This is an incredible moment and milestone for the Levi’s® brand. Through The Greatest Story Ever Worn campaign, we aim to celebrate the legacy of the 501® jean, recognize its unrivaled breadth and global relevance, and inspire the next generation to create the next chapters.”