Filipino artists, designers collaborate with Levi’s for 501’s 150th anniversary

MANILA, Philippines — International clothing label Levi’s launched last Friday its new collaboration with Filipino artists and designers as part of the brand’s 150th anniversary for its 501 jeans.

In an immersive 501 Experience in SM Mall of Asia Central Atrium, reinterpretations of the brand’s 501 jeans by up-and-coming Filipino designers such as HA.MU and Randolf and Philippine-exclusive patches by Filipino artists like Soleil Ignacio were exhibited.

Kat Costas, Marketing Lead for Levi’s Philippines, shared to Philstar.com that they tapped four designers to reinvent the 501s, four artists created their own patches for the brand, while several local artists were engaged for painting on fabric.

“We chose different artists with unique styles and creative expressions,” Costas said. “We combined a global brand with these local artists to provide a ‘glocal’ touch to the event and our products.”

Instead of getting big-name brand ambassadors, Costas said the brand’s Philippine arm is more into commissioning different people excelling in their communities like in music, art, and skateboarding to represent the brand because they are the brand’s wearers.

Former beauty queen Maureen Wroblewitz, for example, created her own skirt from the brand to wear at the brand’s Thailand event.

After reinventing the first 501s for Him and Her “with a modern aesthetic to capture today’s modern consumer,” in the coming months, the label will continue its 150th anniversary celebrations with more 501 variations — shorts, cropped, colored and embellished, said Costas.

On May 20, 1873, a young San Francisco company was granted a patent on the process of riveting pants which would eventually become known as the 501 jeans. After 150 years, these same pants have entrenched themselves as one of the most enduring icons of global style and the original template from which all other jeans have descended. 

For the biggest moment of its year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary, the brand will launch an immersive activation to honor the 501 jeans and the brand’s long-standing association with San Francisco, its birth city. Open to the public from May 19 to May 27 in San Francisco’s historic Skylight at the Armory, the 501 Experience will feature an archival museum, opportunities for custom pieces and a hometown marketplace, among others.

Alongside the 501 Experience in Manila, Levi’s and Rolling Loud marked 501 Day on May 20 with special club shows in San Francisco, Tokyo, Paris and London. As a culmination of the brand’s global 501 Day celebrations, K-pop group and global brand ambassador NewJeans will also celebrate 501 Day in Seoul with a live performance. 

RELATED: K-pop group NewJeans named new global ambassadors in time for 501 jeans’ 150th anniversary

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