Levi’s 501 jeans so iconic that they have their own aptly named 501 Levi day, which falls on may 20. In honor of the pseudo holiday, the brand has collaborated with stylist Karla Welch at the nine parts of line on the shelves on Sunday. (Welch launched his own brand, xkarla, a collaboration with Hanes, two years ago.)
A dramatic advertising campaign a new fashion line stars own customers Welch and other women she admires, like SZA and Yara Shahidi. It also has the song “Yang Yang” gave Ono in support of everytown for gun safety, a charity to which Levi made a donation at the behest Welch.
“Levi Strauss & Co. has a long history of making bold, value-oriented positions on important issues of the day—and doing so long before it’s popular,” said Levi Strauss & Co. CMO Jennifer Sey.
The purpose of Welch with what was not only to reinvent the Vintage, but also to imagine what it might mean in the future. The designer drew inspiration for the collection from his childhood, of pants similar to those she grew up dressed in British Columbia fringe inspired support group “Dallas Cowboys”, of which her old admirer. Some models also pay tribute to the styles of old Levi, she found perusing vintage large archive of the company.
“Before you set the trend, people were customizing their 501s and using them as a canvas for self-expression,” Sy explained. “There is no one right way to wear 501. You can wear it beat, clean and solid, patched and repaired, size up or down or just straight. Because Marx instinctively pulls her clients unique personalities and their individual sense of style, we knew she was perfect for us.”
SEI previously told Vogue that after years of hesitation around this kind of partnership, the company decided to rethink how this collaboration with Welch, will be an important part of the future of the brand.
“We are very careful about maintaining the integrity of the original 501,” said Sy. “The 501 is an iconic product with a 145-year history, so we always want to make sure that we protect the original DNA of the product, keeping it fresh and timeless. It’s a balance of respect for history, bringing newness into the future.”