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).
For vintage lovers, Paris is a fantastic city. I went there myself for the first time in August 2011 and found this treasure. On almost every street you’ll find vintage shops with bountiful selections and cheap prices that will make the hunt a feast. Close to the junction of Rue de Rivoli and Rue Vieille du Temple is a blandly looking second-hand shop that turned out to be a cornucopia of treasures.
Defining a pair of jeans can be quite complicated. They can be skinny or wide, high-waist or low-waist, dark or light, ugly or awesome, cheap piece of no-good or made from a quality that is incomparable. As I wrote in my first post (sorry, only in Danish), it’s you and only you who decide what kind of jeans you’re going to wear. If the history and culture of denim doesn’t mean anything to you I’m guessing you’re not spending hours in all sorts of jean shops. If you just want a comfortable pair of jeans to wear on Sundays when a game is on you’re probably not looking into a pair of 18 oz. raw selvedge jeans. If you’re walking around with tree trunks instead of thighs you’re going to pass right through the skinny jeans section and buy something with room in them, and if you can’t stand a pair of jeans that are made without passion and without a sense of quality and craftsmanship then I’m not counting on seeing you in a pair of Cheap Monday’s.
Here’s a pair of Levi’s 503 that have been worn in by Mats Vikell (a.k.a. Muts von Slims). Mats describes them as, “probably the best pants I’ve ever have had the pleassure to get to know.” He got them as a present back in 2004 and the only thing he wasn’t completely satisfied about was the zip fly. But anyway, Mats and the pants have traveled the world, been to partys, spend many hours on the garage floor, and the only place they haven’t spent too much time is in the washing machine.
Some things are worth preserving. Like your old Levi’s shrink-to-fits from the 80s that you’ve worn in from completely dry yourself. That’s what René Hagemann has done, and now the jeans are in the race for at brand new pair from Meadow. But actually, René kept more than one pair in his closet.
Somewhere in between the timespan of the effectuation of the Marshall Plan and James Dean’s tragic car accident these jeans were produced. In other words, we’re somewhere around the late 1940s to the early 1950s. The jeans are owned by Maurizio Bisozzi from Rome who picked them up in a vintage store in Denver back in the summer of 2008. They feature hidden rivets, selvage (of course), single sided Red Tab, a tiny bit of leather patch, V-stitch at the top button, and a hole lot of Lemon coloured thread.
Denimhunter seems to be making a lot of new friends from the Netherlands at the moment, lately also Dave Edvards who decided to enter our competition with Meadow with this pair of original Levi’s jeans. Dave bought the jeans himself back in 1989 from a second hand store, and back then they already had fadings and wear marks. He wore them for four years straight and has done all the repairs himself. Dave dates the jeans to be from the late 70s, but based on the patch and especially the look of the “501xx,” I’d say they’re from the beginning of the 80s.
Welcome to the first contestant in our send-us-a-picture-of-your-best-looking-worn-in-jeans-competition with Meadow. Simon Vikingsson from Malmö, Sweden sent us these pictures of his original Levi’s 501 jeans from the beginning of the 1980s. They were handed down to him from his father, and by studying the “501 book” (The Evolution of the Jean) he has concluded that these are one of the last selvage 501s.