An introduction to a year-long celebration
Levi’s has been iconic in the denim game and this 2023, the heritage brand marks the 150th anniversary of the iconic 501 jeans. To celebrate the milestone, the brand released three short films under their newest campaign called “The Greatest Story Ever Worn.” Directed by Martin de Thurah and Melina Matsoukas, the original stories from around the world reflected how the 501 jeans have witnessed countless historical, cultural, and personal moments over the years.
The first historically based film titled “Precious Cargo” shared the story of how 501 jeans made their way to Kingston, Jamaica in the 1970s. The film also showed how Jamaica turned and made them uniquely their own through their distinct style, rhythm, and soul that has reverberated across the globe.
The second film called “Fair Exchange” told the story of a beloved family bellcow and the son who swapped the beast for a pair of 501 jeans. Directed by Martin de Thurah and shot by acclaimed cinematographer Kasper Tuxen, a cold Georgian winter was the backdrop to a film that explored 501 jeans as a beacon for something bigger—a dream.
The third and final film was based on true events. Called “Legends Never Die,” the film told a story about one devoted Levi’s wearer who requested to be buried in his 501 jeans—a final wish that many people have relayed to the brand over the years. The clip also showed how this specific fan asked all funeral attendees to wear their 501 jeans around him too! Also directed by Martin de Thurah, the film was a celebration of humanity and a man who truly lived in his Levi’s 501 jeans.
“Few products, let alone pieces of clothing, have been as consistently present for so many human experiences, for as long as the 501. Coming from the humblest of beginnings as workwear pants, Levi’s 501 jeans have become a blank canvas for self-expression that transcends the boundaries of culture, and class,” said Chris Jackman, vice president of brand marketing at Levi’s. “This is an incredible moment and milestone for the Levi’s brand and through The Greatest Story Ever Worn campaign we aim to celebrate the legacy of the 501, its unrivaled breadth and global relevance, and to inspire the next chapters.”
Aside from the breath-taking shot films, Levi’s will also be re-releasing its classic 1954 501 fit for men and 1981 501 for women, as well as a whole new range of finishes for both the 501 Original and the 501 ’93 for the 150th celebration.