Despite numerous assertions that it wouldn’t be possible to find any vintage denim in Amsterdam I sniffed up this pair of Redline Levi’s 501 jeans in one of the Zipper vintage stores. They were made around 1983 and I got them for the reasonable price of €25 (less than $35 or around DKK 185).
Early care tag that were phased out during the 80s. These jeans were originally size 33×40, but being shrink-to-fit they measurement around 31 inches in the waist and 36 inches in length. That actually makes them wearable for me if I cuff them 3 times.
Chain stitched back pockets indicate that the jeans are post 1976.
And then there’s the mystery of the printed red tab. I’ve never seen it before and once I got home from Amsterdam I immediately wrote Levi’s historian Lynn Downey to hear if she knew anything about the odd feature of the jeans, but no luck. However, I’ve spotted a similar pair of 501 jeans from the same factory (524) and era on Blue Gold Blues, so maybe it was something only done by that particular factory? If any of you out there has information about the mystery please help me solve it. Let’s denimhunt together.
Words by Thomas Bojer.