Thursday, November 23, 2006

Freak Levi's Pt. 2

I asked Paul Trynka, the author of Denim: From Cowboys to Catwalks, what he thought about the weird Levi's
jeans I wrote about last time.

The bottomline is basically that even though they looked so different compared to the 1967 505s and 1966 501s, which should be the closest relatives, they could still be a reproduction of how a pair of 1966 505s looked and not just something Levi's made up.
I still think it's weird, but if that's how it really was, then that is of course the way they should do it!

What Paul had to say:


Only had VERY quick look, and must admit I haven't looked at LVC 505 jeans closely. But the weight and arcuate look right. Sanforized jeans are always 10% heavier, because they've shrunk by 10 per cent. And that shallow 66 arcuate is just one from a range of shapes LVC chose for their 66 jeans, so it is perfeclty logical they should use a deeper shape for another model.


I've just checked out some of the info from Japanese LVC i have, and the arcuate looks identical to the Japanese version from 2001 or so. 505s in general do seem to have a different pocket shape - it's more square, less splayed. But that slightly tapered, curved stitching on yours does look weird - I haven't seen it before.
Yes, arcuate stitchings did vary from factory to factory. According to one guy I spoke to who worked for Levi's from the 70s through the 80s, as well as on the very early LVC, it's simply because the tooling became worn. Even when you see shapes changing in the early 80s jeans, it's because they were trying to get back to a more 'classic' shape.
To me, the very flat arcuate LVC generally use in their 60s jeans looks TOO flat - almost an exaggeration, perhaps to make the different models look more distinct, although I'm sure that shape will have appeared from one of their factories.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Freak Levi's?

I found these on the Bay a while ago and they really had me wondering after I'd taken a closer look at the pictures.
They were sold as a 1966 505 from Levi's Vintage Collection, season unknown but it's definitely from one of the earlier seasons, considering the off(?) details.

So why do I mean by "off details"? Well, for starters, the backpockets. They have the same shape and proportions as the 1944 and 1955 501s(well, the '55s a little different) and the seam curves in at the top. The 1966 501s on the other hand have almost rectangular backpockets.

The arcuate is also too deep on these compared to the 501s of the same year. Changing the look of the backpockets has to have been a conscious design decisions, so I don't think it makes sense that they would do it to only one of their models and not the other. If they, for whatever reason, though the new look was better, then they should have changed the design in the same way on all their models. Or maybe I just lack the information required to understand this?

1944 backpocket

1966 backpocket

The pocket flasher says that they are made from 14 ounce denim, which I think Levi's jeans made in 1966 weren't. The '66 501 and the '67 505 are significantly lighter weight than 14 ounce.
It also talks about the jeans being riveted, but it doesn't say anything about bartacking - the backpockets are bartacked instead of riveted.

These are either one of Levi's early mistakes in their VC line, or they're the missing link I've been looking for, because I have been quite thoughtful about which jeans the Samurai S0505XX are made after.
The Samurai 505 actually looks very similar to these, the backpockets especially. At first I thought they were made after the Levi's '67 505, but the two aren't very similar - my Samurai's are a slightly looser cut than the '67s and the backpockets don't look the same.
So, maybe the answer is that my Samurais are made after the 1966 505, but are they made after an authentic pair of 1966 505s, or after Levi's 1966 505 reproductions, that may or may not look like the original?

Did these exist, and look like this, or did Levi's make them up?
Feel free to share your thoughts!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sugarcane in Sweden!

Caliroots just started selling Sugarcane jeans, what a nice surprise! Solo is also going to start selling Sugarcane and I thought they'd be the first to do so as they're the #1 store for denim in Sweden, with Weekday close behind, but Caliroots definitely beat them to it!
Cali used to sell the Californian/Japanese brand Tenderloin, so maybe this shouldn't have been so surprising.

They are currently stocking the two standard models - the Levi's 501 1947 model and the Lee 101B 1945 model and two more spectacular models - the Okinawa and the Hawaii model.
The '47 has no arcuates on the backpockets, because Levi's went after Sugarcane and probably scared them quite a bit since even the jeans sold in Japan now come with blank backpockets.
The '45s still have the Lee lazy 'S', maybe Lee isn't as aggressive as Levi's?

I'm not digging the fit on the pics they have on their website, but don't let that scare you away, go to the store and try them on or read my guide if you are not able to visit the store.
Mind you, these are all mid-to-high waists and I suggest you wear them as such because of the hip flare.

I'll go try them on as soon as possible!

Denim contests

There are a few of denim contests going on right now or starting soon, three to be exact, at least as far as I know.

The first, and in my opinion the most interesting one, is the Samurai contest. 30 participants are going to wear the new S0500XX for one year, from the first of November 2006 'til the first of November 2007. Guess what, I'm going to be in it!
I haven't received my jeans yet because I bought them from a former contestant who had ordered the wrong size, and the Singaporean postal service seems to be even worse than the Swedish.
I should get them this week, and pics will of course be posted here.

S0500XX pics & info @ (I'm #18)
Samurai Denim Contest homepage
S0500XX @

The second contest is the Bay Icon contest. I wrote about Swedish Bay Icon earlier [=>]
The model used is the new slim cut that has yet to hit stores. There are 30 contestants, all of whom are Swedish.

I'm a bit skeptic towards the choice of jeans though, as you know if you've read my other post about Bay Icon, as all their denim is treated, which slows down the wear process. I'm afraid that these jeans won't look as good as the could've, but I hope I'm wrong and wish all the contestants good luck!

The Bay Icon Contest

The last contest is the SOLOxNudie contest. The store clerks at Solo are all going to wear Nudie's new model Even Steven for, I think it was, one year as a publicity stunt. I'm not sure if this is nation wide or just in Stockholm.

The jeans can be seen every day at your Solo store.

Even Steven @