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Did You Know That Levi’s 501 Jeans Is Almost 150 Years Old?

Did You Know That Levi’s 501 Jeans Is Almost 150 Years Old?

Celebrating that, they’re doing a ‘sisterhood of travelling pants’ kinda artwork on a single 501 jeans from five visionaries across SEA.

Melissa Suraya Ismail

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If you’re familiar with Levi’s, then you know their most popular pair of jeans is the 501 jeans. The 501 jeans is the jeans that started it all, as they say. It was the original straight fit jeans with its button fly, invented by Levi Strauss himself in 1873.

This year in Asia, celebrating the 149th year since the invention of the jeans, Levi’s collaborating with visionaries across 5 South-East Asian countries, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

As the 501 is known for its straight fit jeans, it’s an ideal blank canvas for people to customize and express themselves with. With that, a pair of Original 501 jeans have travelled across the 5 countries for the visionaries to add a little touch of their artistic self-expression. Sort of like the ‘sisterhood of travelling pants’ kinda thing.

It started with an artist and illustrator from Indonesia, Diela Maharanie, then travelled to a Filipino model, actress and all-around creative Issa Pressman, Yung Raja, a Singaporean rapper and songwriter, and then Malaysia with our very own model and embroidery artist, Sheena Liam and finally to Thailand, for the makeup artist extraordinaire turned Thai silk advocate, Pearypie. The final touches of the travelling pants will be revealed in Bangkok on the 20th May, in conjunction with Levi’s anniversary.

Sheena Liam and Imran Butt (General Manager of Levi’s Malaysia) at Malaysia’s 501’s celebratory anniversary at APW Bangsar (left) and her own 501 jeans with her embroidery work called ‘Hands on Jeans’.
(Credit: Melissa Suraya Ismail / TRP, @times.new.romance / Instagram)

For Malaysia, the Penangite Sheena Liam (who won the second season of Asia’s Next Top Model, might we add) decided to bring her signature work to the table. With a 72 hour deadline, Sheena had to work fast and patch her embroidery on the travelling 501 pants and also her very own 501 jeans. Her classic work features a long haired braided girl in striped shirts, always posing in aesthetic looks. You can check out her signature work here.

I think when you buy quality, it’ll last longer.

Sheena Liam, Malaysian Model and Embroidery Artist

This year, Levi’s bringing back their 90s 501s, with a more relaxed fit (looser) through the seat and leg which perfectly captures the late 90’s vibes. Check their new collection here and their Instagram for more info.


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