Eighty years ago this fall, Levi Strauss & Co. charted new territory with the launch of Lady Levi’s® jeans. The result — the world’s first jeans made exclusively for women — would go on to define women’s casual styles for generations to come.
One woman missed out on the new sensation when others around her were quickly adopting the latest fashion trend of western women’s wear. However, a serendipitous run-in with our CEO Chip Bergh ensured she would have a Levi’s® story of her own to tell.
The 89-year-old Princess George Galitzine (formerly Jean Dawnay), widow of Prince George Galitzine, stepped inside the Levi’s flagship store in London recently and was measured for her very first pair of Levi’s.
The visit from the former Dior model and actress turned princess was no accident. Princess Galitzine was a guest at the Dockers® Flannels for Heroes cricket match this summer and shared a table with Chip. Over the course of their conversation, he learned a surprising fact about her: she had never owned a pair of Levi’s jeans.
Chip wanted to remedy this unfortunate situation. A trip to the store was arranged with the expert in-store team on hand to help and assist the octogenarian who, in her youth, graced the covers of Vogue, Tatler and Harper’s Bazaar.
Proving still chic in flared black pants, a vintage Burberry black coat and a colorful headscarf — a gift from Mohammed Zahir Shah, the last King of Afghanistan — Princess Galitzine instantly grew a fan base from the Levi’s store team and in-store customers alike. One young American woman commented, “If I can look as good as she does in a pair of Levi’s, then I’m going to buy four pairs and wear nothing else”.
“It is extraordinary that I never adopted denim when so many of my friends did as far back as the 1950s/60s, including Grace Kelly, Terence Rattigan, Laurence Olivier, Arthur Miller and his wife Marilyn Monroe,” said Princess Galitzine. “They embraced Levi’s and yet I was left behind somehow. This was the same time as the birth of the teenage rebel. Levi’s embodied the ‘new wave’ much as Mr. Dior did with his own ‘New Look’ in 1947.”
The enduring legend of Levi Strauss & Co. shows that it is never too late, even if one is in their 80s.
“I have lived so many lives and yet I never owned a pair of Levi’s. Now at my wild age and with the kind permission of Mr. Chip Bergh, I too can Live in Levi’s,” she said.