Pop quiz: What’s the name of the first Levi’s® riveted denim jacket?
Hint — it’s not the Trucker.
Though arguably one of our most popular products today, the Levi’s® Trucker jacket was developed after nearly 100 years of iterations, inspired by the jackets of Levi’s® past.
“In recent years, the term ‘Trucker’ has often been used to describe all denim jackets, but, historically, this is inaccurate,” said Levi Strauss & Co. Historian Tracey Panek. “The term ‘Trucker’ refers to a denim jacket design that LS&Co. introduced in the 1960s — almost a century after it introduced the world’s first riveted denim jacket.”
Here’s a look back at how our denim jackets have evolved over time.
Triple Pleat Blouse, Type I, Type II
LS&Co. invented the first riveted denim jacket back in the 1870s. Called the Triple Pleat Blouse, the jacket had a boxy fit and featured two riveted front lower pockets, riveted sleeve openings and three pleats — hence the name.
Triple Pleat Blouse
As the brand continued to grow, the Triple Pleat gave way to the XX Blouse and the Lot 506 in the 1890s. Eventually, the Lot 506 became what we now refer to as the Type I. On the market from 1905 to 1953, the Type I had a boxy fit with one riveted front pocket and riveted sleeve openings, and just two pleats. There was a blanket-lined option as well as pocket flaps, which were removed during World War II.
Type I Jacket
Lot 507, also known as the Type II, followed Type I and was available to consumers between 1953 and 1961. Similar to its predecessors, Type II also had boxy fit with the riveted sleeve openings. It featured two pleats and a back cinch or side adjusters, and there was a blanket-lined option.
Type II Jacket
Type III and the Modern Trucker
Lot 557 or Type III first appeared in LS&Co.’s October 1961 catalog. Jack Lucier designed the jacket, sketching it out on a notepad. (Fun fact: Jack’s father, Chris Lucier, is the creator of our iconic red Tab!) The design was a tapered fit, featuring two front pockets with vertical “V” lines pointing down to the waistband. The pleats were gone, and the jacket was made with preshrunk denim.
Lot 557 or Type III lasted only a few years, from late 1961 to 1967. That was when Lot 557 changed to Lot 70505, aka the “Trucker.”
But the most significant change was the tiniest. The rivets were removed, and along with them, the link to the innovation that defined LS&Co.’s first manufactured products.
In 1967, Lot 557 (Type III) changed to Lot 70505 to coincide with the launch of the 505® preshrunk jean, which the jacket was intended to match. Eventually dubbed “Trucker,” our modern denim jacket has become the standard for denim jackets everywhere.
“LS&Co. introduced the first riveted denim jacket nearly 150 years ago. Today, our modern Trucker jacket design has been copied all over the world,” said Tracey. “Accurately identifying our jackets is a key part of preserving their rich history. As the denim pioneer, it’s important we set the record straight.”
And there you have it. Now you’re a Levi’s® jacket expert and guaranteed to win your next denim trivia game night.