The last century saw several iconic brands born out of the industrial and cultural past of the United States. Through both war and peace, the lows and highs of the country have been mirrored in the fashion scene. Spiewak is one of the brands that fit this description, a company that has grown into one of the premier names in fashion and workwear. One of the key styles that gave Spiewak their success was the N1 Deck jacket. To find out more about the N1 and its origins we consulted with Dan Hendricks, creative director of Spiewak.
The Ed47 is the stronghold of the Edwin denim collection. Along with the Nashville, this is the fit that captures the essence of the brand. Based on the 1947 501 (hence the lot number), the ED47 has a straight leg with a rather slim thigh. Compared the 501 the waist is a bit lower, especially in the front where you’ll find a 4-button fly. Also, the slanted pockets are positioned a touch lower than for instance the ED71, which gives the ED47 a relaxed feel even though it’s worn fairly high. The fabric is the recognisable Rainbow selvage that is registered by Edwin and exclusively developed and woven by the Nisshinbo mill in Japan.
A relic of the Great Depression, the 1933 501XX stems from a time when you literally had to wear both belt and braces, figuratively speaking. In addition to it’s very wide legged fit, the jean is recognized by its exposed rivets on back pockets; single stitched arcuates sewn by hand; rivets at the base of the fly; and the combination of both cinch back, suspender buttons, and belt loops. This particular pair has been worn on and off for a couple years and they’ve been machine-washed a few times at 60 degrees celcius.
You’ve probably already read it a dozen times, but as we write in our dry denim guide the “505 was originally introduced as a slim fit in the late 60s, but today it’s more likely to be thought of as a regular fit.” These jeans have a high back rise and a deep yoke and originally they were meant to be worn high, but you can equally wear low for a more relaxed style. Compared to the 1947 501 and other 501s the leg opening on the 505 is a little narrower. The Levi’s Vintage Clothing 505 also has an attractive price point of DKK 1200 (€160), which may be one of the reasons it’s a bestseller.
In terms of details, the 1927 Levi’s Vintage Clothing iteration of the 501, which was introduced in the fall of 2008, doesn’t really hold any major significance to the history of the iconic jean. The belt loops had been added in 1922 and it would be another decade before they would squeeze out the suspender buttons. However, when it comes to the fabric, 1927 marks the year that Cone Mills finally took over from Amoskeag. This makes the 1927 the first 501 to be made with synthetic indigo, and the first to feature the redline selvage.
The 1947 501XX is often referred to as the quintessential five-pocket jean with its slim fitting top block, belt loops as the only measure of support, diamond arcuates, leather Two-Horse patch, and the list goes on. This particular pair is similarly one of the corner stones in my personal collection and essential to my relationship to Levi’s Vintage Clothing. The jeans were produced around the turn of the century at the Valencia Street facilities and as far as I recall I acquired them in 2008 at the neat sum of DKK 400 (approximately $70) in complete deadstock condition – quite a steal it was. Now they’ve been retired to sit in the jeans collection that we are establishing in Brund, much more on that later.
Nashville is Edwin’s take on a classic 501-like 5 pocket jean. It has been on the market for about 20 years. Nashville is a traditional straight fit with a touch of tapering and a relatively high rise. It was designed to be worn high on the hips. The European division of Edwin inherited the style from the Japanese collection along with the Waynesville and the Greensville, both now out of general circulation. The fabric of the jeans shown in this article is a 14 oz. 100% cotton Japanese ring-ring spun redline selvage denim with a red blue cast. The fabric is also available in most other Edwin fits and it’s exclusively made for Edwin by Kurabo. The Nashville features a copper donut button fly, copper rivets, selvage coin pocket detailing, half lining on back pockets, and different colour and sized threads for a real vintage look.
The Levi’s 70505-0217 – popularly known as the Type III Trucker jacket – has a slimmed down and slightly longer silhouette compared to its predecessors, the Type I and the Type II. The jacket has 2 side adjusters on the waistband instead of a cinch, a change that was implemented on the 507XX Type II jacket from the 50s. Also, the 70505 features the characteristic pointed pocket flaps and a double sided Big E red tab. This Levi’s Vintage Clothing reproduction of the jacket from 1967 was made at the Valencia Street factory in San Francisco, which closed 10 years ago this year.
The year is 1954. Marilyn Monroe just married Joe DiMaggio, Bill Haley & The Comets pioneered rock ‘n’ roll with their version of “Rock Around the Clock,” Ray Kroc founded McDonald’s and James Dean was cast to East of Eden. But 1954 was also the year when Levi’s introduced their popular 501 waist overalls (as their were officially called back then) to the East American consumers in a modified version with a slimmer silhouette and a zipper instead of buttons. Those wild at heart immediately embraced the rebellious blue pants.
During the Easter holidays of 2009 I visited a good friend of mine who was an exchange student at the University of Essex. We spend the weekend in London doing what boys do best: drinking beers and acting stupid. And besides the ticket to a completely sold out Bloc Party concert that we bought from a suspiciously looking geezer, the only tangible memory of the trip that I still have is the Levi’s Vintage Clothing 1936 506XX jacket which I bought in Cinch. I’ve worn it quite a lot since then.