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Levi’s Vintage Clothing recreates oldest pair on women’s denims in archives


Levi’s Vintage Clothing team has embarked on a remarkable project to recreate the oldest pair of women’s jeans found in the Levi’s Archives, all while paying homage to the woman who once wore them.

Crafted from shrink-to-fit selvedge denim meticulously reproduced by Kaihara Denim Mills in Japan, the limited-edition Lot 401 jeans echo the spirit of the original pair from the 1930s.

Marking a significant milestone in the brand’s history, Levi’s introduced the Lot 401 jean as the world’s first blue jeans tailored specifically for women. These jeans paved the way for the iconic Lot 701, also known as Lady Levi’s.

Tracey Panek, Historian, Levi Strauss & Co's, suggests that the Lot 401 jeans might have served as a trial run, a precursor to the widely embraced Lot 701 design. Levi’s drew upon the original Lot 401 as a blueprint for this faithful reproduction.

In 2017, Levi’s acquired the ‘Viola,’ making it the oldest pair of women’s blue jeans in the brand’s archive. Viola Longacre, the owner, was a student at Fresno State’s Sierra Summer School in the 1930s, studying to become a teacher. Her denim jeans, featuring her name inscribed on the inside pocket, proved to be sturdy and reliable attire for her outdoor classes in the Sierra National Forest.

Each set of jeans in this collection includes a photograph of Viola and a letter recounting the story behind the jeans, all elegantly packaged in a tote adorned with the Levi’s Vintage Clothing logo and Lot 401 patch.

These exclusive jeans are now available for $495 on Levi’s website, app, and in select Levi’s stores.



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