Cowboys and Aliens on Denim

Levi Strauss & Co.
May 18, 2023

Over the past several months, retail teams in the U.S. and Canada have been honoring the 150th anniversary of the 501® jean by customizing a pair to represent their district.

The traveling 501® jeans were sent to stores across U.S. and Canada, where teams within each district were prompted to add their own design to the jeans and bring to life their local area’s unique features that make it special. Once each team received their pair of jeans, they quickly got to work brainstorming the iconic buildings, beautiful mountain ranges, sports teams and more that set their city apart.

Once the teams agreed on a theme, they used paint, fabric markers, distressing techniques, embroidery and patches to customize their pair of jeans.

Each team took an approach as unique as their district. For example, the team in Dallas paid homage to the Dallas Cowboys, while in Colorado, the team honored the state’s stunning landscape and Rocky Mountains.

The team in Santa Fe, New Mexico, opted to take an out-of-this-world approach for their pair.

“We asked everyone on the team what makes ‘New Mexico true,’ said Desiree Aguilar, Santa Fe store manager. “We knew that as soon as people saw an alien, they would think of New Mexico because of all the conspiracy theories about Roswell, New Mexico.”

Others focused more on technique with their design.

“My favorite way to customize jeans is to pay homage to the past with simple machine-free applique techniques and natural-looking distressing,” said Taylor Hudema, sales stylist, Chinook Centre, Canada. “Just like a true cowboy would, we stayed away from distressing our traveling 501® jeans and went for a simple, but impactful bleach technique, as well as hand sewn details.”