Since its debut in 1873, the iconic 501 jean has only gotten more legendary.
On Thursday, Levi’s celebrated its legacy—namely, its new loose-fitting 501 90s style—with a star-studded cast of seven influential names that embody the revolutionary spirit of the brand. Next year, the heritage denim label will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 501 jean.
The video and photo campaign features hip-hop artist Kid Cudi; Denim Tears creative director Tremaine Emory; Beastie Boys member Mike D; fashion icon Nathan Westling; model Gia Seo; stylist Gabriella Karefa-Johnson; and The Paranoyds member Staz Lindes. All are filmed wearing the latest Levi’s collection and commenting on the legacy of the jean, ultimately wrapping the video with a line almost as iconic as the garment itself: “501 is the number that changed everything.”
The first pair of jeans ever created, the classic Levi’s 501 is characterized by a straight fit and button fly, and was originally intended for workers in the late 1800s. Since then, the brand has made a number of variations to its favorite jean, offering a range of looser 501 fits, new washes and more. Last year, it got a circular update with organic cotton, post-consumer recycled denim and other recyclable components that reflect Levi’s renewed commitment to lowering its environmental footprint.
The real star of the campaign, the 501 90s style, first dropped in December with a promotion led by model and longtime brand ambassador Hailey Bieber. With a more relaxed fit through the seat and leg, the jean sits just below the waist and offers a stylish yet roomier fit that can be sized up or sized down depending on how the consumer wants to wear it. The fit gives wearers a way to achieve the slouchy, laidback style that’s both nostalgic and representative of comfort-first culture without excessive bagginess.
“With denim, nostalgia can be a source of both comfort and style. Having that favorite worn-in pair of jeans from the past is what we aim to capture with the new 501 ‘90s jean—it taps into that vintage look and feel, but it’s been made fresh and modern for today,” said Karyn Hillman, chief product officer at Levi Strauss & Co. “It’s inspired by the way people were wearing our 501s in the late ‘90s: A bit more relaxed, midrise and with just the right amount of bagginess in the leg. Easy, effortless and cool.”
The ‘90s resurgence has dominated denim trends for years and continues to top style searches thanks in part to pop culture’s enthusiastic sartorial tribute to the “naughties,” or ‘90s and ‘00s decades. Specifically, loose denim, a staple look of that time period, took over the runway last year.
The Levi’s 501 90s fit is available now and retails for $98-$108. Sizes range from 23-34 waist and 30/32 inseams.