The back patch of a pair of Levi's® jeans

Reproducing the Oldest Pair of Blue Jeans

Levi Strauss & Co.
May 20, 2024

Levi Strauss & Co. made history on May 20, 1873, when it received a patent for its riveted pants, marking the official birth of the Levi’s® 501® jean. Fast forward 151 years, and the iconic denim pant continues to hold its place as a timeless classic fit, evolving with the trends while remaining true to its core design. Today, as we celebrate 501® Day, we honor the legacy of this cultural phenomenon that has shaped fashion and communities worldwide.

Despite the passage of time, the love for the Levi’s® 501® family remains unwavering. With last year’s 501® sales nearing $800 million, it’s evident that the appeal of this iconic fit transcends generations. To commemorate this history and celebrate 501® Day, the Levi’s® Vintage Clothing team embarked on a mission: recreate the 9Rivet.

Confirmed through meticulous research and archival exploration by LS&Co. Historian Tracey Panek and Design Director for Levi’s® Vintage Clothing Paul O’Neill, the 9Rivet — named for having only nine rivets instead of the usual 11 — is the oldest pair of blue jeans in the Levi’s® Archives.

“Of the various 1870s blue jeans in the Levi’s® Archives, I always suspected 9Rivet was the oldest,” said Paul. “After confirming it is in fact the oldest we have, we were thrilled to reproduce all of its quirks and details that collectively capture a unique piece of denim history.”

Three images of a person posing in a white T-shirt and dark wash Levi's® denim jeans. From left to right: facing the camera, facing away from the camera, facing the right.

The Levi’s® Vintage Clothing team embarked on a mission to recreate the 9Rivet, stitch by stitch. Crafted with precision and attention to detail, the reproduction stays true to the original garment, capturing its quirks and unique features. Made with 9 oz. Plain Selvedge Cone Mills White Oak Denim and featuring exposed rivets and an unriveted center-back cinch, the 9Rivet reproduction is a testament to the Levi’s® brand’s commitment to preserving its heritage.

Limited to just 800 pairs, the 9Rivet recreation offers denim heads a chance to own a piece of Levi’s® history. Available for purchase on, the Levi’s® app and select Levi’s® stores, these jeans are more than just denim — they’re a tribute to more than 150 years of innovation, style and cultural impact.

From the invention of riveted pants to the reproduction of the oldest pair of blue jeans, Levi’s® continues to shape the future of fashion while honoring its rich heritage. Here’s to another century of timeless style and iconic denim. Happy 501® Day!