Levi’s is a very old brand. It’s not like a few decades old or even a century old: it is a hundred and forty years old. That’s insane! It’s such a super old and (still) super relevant brand. They’re continuously doing neat things and, if you haven’t noticed from our periodic coverage, they like to put on fun events in Los Angeles to cater to the creative climate in addition to the obvious celebrity culture here.
Friday they held a super big birthday party for themselves at The Ace Museum on La Brea. It was a very ~*~eXcLuSiVe~*~ event that included a live performance by Frank Ocean and a DJ set from M83. While the event was fun and fabulous and packed, the real attraction to the event was a series of installations created by Levi’s creative team that chronicled the history of the brand from the 1873 birth of the 501 up through the 2013 state of the now literally colorful pant.
The installations were about ten feet square pieces that skipped around in time to only share the important things in Levi’s history. Every year was not included nor was every little tiny detail of the jean. Instead, the things that were included expounded upon big moments for Levi’s and jeans in general like the 1890 naming of the 501 jean, the 1922 addition of belt loops, the 1950s appropriation of the pant by Hollywood, and much more. With simple white paper explanations of the brand history and tidbits relating to popular culture, the installations visually played off of a time period related subject in addition to the incorporation of the jean itself. This meant everything from the 1922 installation featuring jeans fashioned to look like film character of the same year Nosferatu as the 1978 pre-post-disco hangout room where the jeans spin from the ceiling.
The installations were quite large and, while not entirely precious, were super detailed and beautiful. They were a great way for an old brand to explain their history off of paper and into the real world. This Museum of Levi’s (if you will) also served as the venue for the party, which was very stressful for us because we knew the hard work and imagination that went into creating these often larger-than-human-sized retail setups. There was a moment when we walked in where some bros were aimlessly standing atop of the paper description of the installation, unknowingly fucking up what they had built earlier in the week. Since there was rumored to be over 2K people in attendance, the fight to save these installations was not even started because it was semi-hopeless to try to save the paper placards positioned on the floor of each art piece.
The party was a hoot and a holler, though. We did not stay too long because it had been a long day and, if you know us, hanging out at huge, ~*~DrEsS 2 iMpResS~*~TaKe My PhOtO, bOi~*~ parties are not our scene. It was fun to see the installations activated by an audience and to sip a few Patron cocktails inspired by the 501. We also caught that Jordan Lawlor of M83 played a few songs here that he also played at our party the following evening. Funny coincidence!
We wish that the 140 Years Of The 501 installation had been up for a week or month or something as a pop-up shop of sorts but, unfortunately, it was a one night only affair. This said, it looked great and thank you Levi’s for bringing your creativity to Los Angeles to celebrate your birthday. They surely could have put this on in their native San Francisco or even in New York–but they chose to do it in LA. How fabulous are we? Obviously fabulous enough to host a birthday party for a 140 year old. You can check out more on Levi’s here and–Surprise!!–140 years meant the introduction of *the first* non-denim 501.