To help celebrate the anniversary of a style icon, Levi’s has partnered with London’s V&A Museum in a new exhibition that tells the story of the rebellious period between 1966 and 1970 and the central place Levi’s own 505 jean had within it.
During this period, alternative modes of expression manifested themselves through music, art, politics, as well as fashion. Both Levi’s 501 and its 505 jean were at the center of this. The jeans, particularly the newly released 505, not only became wardrobe staples but they became part of an unofficial uniform worn by the era’s trailblazers and made famous by counter-cultural scenes such as that of 1970s New York.
Now, Levi’s has updated its 505C in a decidedly more modern, sleeker cut (the “C” standing for “customized”). Modeled from a vintage deadstock pair from 1976, Levi’s then worked the basic design through a contemporary filter to produce a subtly altered pair of jeans with a modern straight leg silhouette. A ’70s rock jean cut for today.
The original Levi’s 505 transcended gender boundaries, favored by both guys and girls, despite only originally being designed for men. The 505 leg was straighter than other Levi’s jeans at the time. It was also the first jean to use a zip fly, creating a slightly flatter front. Icons like Debbie Harry and Patti Smith wore their skin tight jeans on stage and off; on the guy’s side, Lou Reed appeared on TV with his distressed, lived-in pair still carrying the stains of New York stages and streets. 505s starred on The Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers” album’s front cover, and the jeans were famously worn by all four of the Ramones in their seminal, eponymous album.
To celebrate the relaunch of the 505, Levi’s recently threw a party in New York’s The Bowery with rock icon Debbie Harry, and Ewa Wladymiruk, Anja Leunberger, Sasha Kichigink, Luka Sabbat and Jonah Levine, among others. Check out the party shots, above, before checking out the new 505C at one of Levi’s stores.
The V&A Museum’s “You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-70” exhibition, in collaboration with Levi’s, opens September 10, 2016.