Previously a tech worker in Europe during the 1980s, Jeff Fuller has an uncanny talent, as he’s able to pick out secondhand denim with ease and has since amassed over 50,000 pairs of made-in-America Levi’s jeans ranging from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s — leading to the opening of his very own vintage store in Santa Monica.
With Levi’s eventually discovering and purchasing Fuller’s collection for an undisclosed sum (spanning 501s, 505s, 517s in nearly every wash and hue, as well as trucker and sherpa jackets), the archive is now the basis of Levi’s Authorized Vintage program, which launches today.
Due to the booming vintage market trend, a pair of Levi’s Authorized Vintage jeans (unaltered 501s) will be more expensive, starting at $198 USD, compared to the average thrift store find. When Fuller’s supply clears out, the program will still continue says Levi’s president James “JC” Curleigh.
“Since we’ve put word out that we’ve got this [collection], we’ve had lots of people coming forward with jeans. It’s amazing how the connections have accelerated. And we’re absolutely open for business.”
The brand plans to receive continuous supply of authorized vintage denim that could re-shape the market and will also help uncover more unique vintage collections. “I think what we’ve set up is this virtuous vintage cycle where all roads start from Levi’s, and come back to Levi’s,” says Curleigh. “That’s the beauty,” he added.
For the full coverage, head over to GQ now.
In related news, you can shop the Off-WHITE x Levi’s Made & Crafted collab right now.