Highsnobiety

After a glorious three months of 501® history (and product drops), Levi’s is about to culminate its epic journey with the OG treasure — its very first Blue Jean. Yes, we’re going all the way back.

The year is 1873. The American West Coast is a patchwork of farms, ranches, and gold mines stretching as far as the eye can see. The vast land, long distances, and hard manual labor mean the miners, railroad mechanics, and engineers need sturdy pants that not only last but protect and withstand wear and tear. Who notices this and decides to do something about it? Yep, it was Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis.

In the same year in San Francisco, Davis received a patent (No. 139,121) for ‘an improvement in fastening pocket openings’ — and so the riveted 501® blue jean was born. Workers needed these because they were so hardy, except for at stress points like the pockets and base button of the fly, where of course, movement was needed.

These ‘Waist Overalls’ as they were known at the time, became the workwear of choice, not only for those on the tracks and in mines but for the outlaws too. As the First Intercontinental Railroad zigzagged across the States, a rugged hodgepodge of Levi’s-clad outcasts and entrepreneurs worked side by side, building the future.

And oh, did that future love the 501s®. We’ve seen the past few months bring back four iconic iterations alongside four incredible talents, from the 1937 and 1922 to the 1901 and 1890 — and now the journey reaches its end with the 1873. The 2023 reproduction of the 1873 XX Waist Overalls are made from plain Selvedge Loomstate Denim, meaning it holds all the qualities of the original pair. Loomstate means the pants are woven on a low-tension setting on vintage looms, with the denim practically untouched after the process is finished to allow the jeans to age and gain character naturally.

Levi’s 501s® are shape-shifters, game-changers, and pioneers in their own right, altering culture and shifting the zeitgeist one denim leg at a time, so to bring the final chapter of this story to life, we thought to shine a light on one of the industries that has done exactly the same. Music.

Meet DJ THC.

So THC, tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m Tania Humeres Correa, aka THC. I’m half Colombian and Chilean, was born in Bogota but moved straight to Germany because of the unsafe political situation in Bogota at that time.

I grew up in Bonn, the old German capital, together with my parents and my sibling Dominik. I was always interested in music and played the drums for 10 years and found my love for electronic music as a teenager by watching a lot of MTV and VIVA — hence the progression of making music my profession came quite naturally.

What drives you in your current practice? 

The main drive is definitely my passion for music and djing. Touring can be quite draining both physically and mentally, but the joy I feel the moment I get on stage and play the music I love and share every moment with the crowd, it all makes sense and makes every hardship of djing worthwhile.

Where do you find most of your inspiration? 

Most of my inspiration I find through digging online or in record stores but also through my close friends who work in the same field. I cherish the love we have for each other and how we continuously inspire, push and support one another.

Three words to describe your music?

Energetic, punchy, and euphoric — the '90s and '00s. I spend hours and hours going through old releases and labels.

What do you think influences your personal style the most?

Fashion-wise, it’s 100% my sibling Dominik. They know so much more about fashion than me and love to dress me from head to toe, so all credits go to them.

As a DJ, you are traveling and on the go a lot. What are some items you take with you every time?

I go nowhere without my AirPods; the noise-canceling ones for when I’m on planes are the biggest blessing after a long night and little sleep. In my bag, I always have a comfortable T-shirt to sleep in, a tank top, jeans, cosmetic products, and sunglasses. I try to keep my luggage as light as possible, as carrying heavy records is very exhausting and can be quite challenging sometimes!

Like DJ culture, the 501s® have grown and developed alongside decades and decades of cultural shifts. What do you think of the musical landscape you exist in now?

Since I mainly play older records, this question is hard to answer for me, but what I have been noticing through friends or newer releases (within the genres I’m interested in) is that the musical landscape feels a bit like a retrospective of the records that I own.

Is there a change you’d like to see or something you think is challenging about the DJ world?

Handling and dealing with social media. It’s the one thing I dislike about being a DJ, the constant updates and posts, the promotion, and the never-ending entertainment we have to offer to keep the fans and bookers engaged. There’s also a big competition between DJs, and it’s affecting a lot of people’s mental health.  It’s definitely a tool that also helps us to get pushed further in our careers, but I personally find it distressing at times.

Did you wear Levi’s growing up? 

Yes, I did! A must as a lesbian! Jokes aside, my parents used to wear them a lot when I was growing up, so naturally, I wanted to have the same. The jeans are timeless classics and suitable for any occasion.

If you were to match a music genre or track to these jeans you’re wearing, what would it be?

Maybe country? This pair looks very retro to me, and the initial imprint in my memory I have of Levi's is from these old adverts with the American cowboys wearing the jeans.

How do fashion and DJ culture overlap, in your opinion? 

I’ve been seeing a direct overlap between DJ culture and fashion more and more. Brands are working together with DJs to promote their new collections, and DJs are becoming sort of celebrities and influencers lately. I mean, I would have never thought I would be in a Levi's campaign because I’m a DJ, but here we are!

Aside from that, from my observation, fashion seems to be behaving similarly to the current music landscape; it revives and strives on past shapes and aesthetics, and the new collections seem like an amalgamation of the past and the present. So, I am curious about how everything is going to evolve in the future.

What is it like working alongside your sibling? 

It’s needless to say that my sibling is a big part of my identity, not only for who I am as a person but also musically. Whilst DHC (their DJ name) brings a completely different taste to the table than THC, when we get together, we manage to reflect the bond and love that we have for each other through the sounds we share as a duo; S-candalo is an extension of who we are. I’m, therefore, endlessly grateful and lucky that I get to work with them on a regular basis, and love that we are now achieving goals we have always been dreaming of together.

Name three places in Berlin where you’d wear these jeans

I would definitely wear these whilst traveling, whether on a train or plane, it’s important for me to have comfortable wear. I’d also wear them to artist dinners and to go record shopping.

Shop the 1873 501® reissue on the Highsnobiety Shop, levi.com, and in other retailers such as END, CULTIZM, and SLAMJAM.

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