For the 150th anniversary of its iconic 501 jeans, Levi’s is launching The Greatest Story Ever Worn campaign, a year-long celebration.
As part of the launch of the campaign, Levi’s® is releasing three short films, directed by Martin de Thurah and Melina Matsoukas, titled The Greatest Story Ever Worn, that explore original stories from around the world celebrating 150 years of 501® jeans.
The first historically based film, Precious Cargo, shares the story of how 501® jeans made their way to Kingston, Jamaica in the 1970’s and how Jamaica turned and made them uniquely their own. Directed by Melina Matsoukas and shot by academy award nominated cinematographer Bradford Young, the film is a celebratory exploration of an island that’s distinct style, rhythm and soul has reverberated across the globe.
The second film, Fair Exchange, tells the story of a determined young man who swaps his family cow for a pair of 501® Jeans, to his family’s dismay, very much in the fashion of Jack and the Beanstalk.
And finally, the third film, Legends Never Die, tells the true story of one devoted Levi’s® wearer who requested to be buried in his 501® jeans. This specific zealot asked all funeral attendees to wear their 501® jeans too.
With these stories, as well as others inspired by true events, The Greatest Story Ever Worn celebrates the 501® jeans’ incredible past and its role in countless historical, cultural and personal moments in order to inspire a new generation to write the next chapter.
“Few products, let alone pieces of clothing, have been as consistently present for so many human experiences, for as long as the 501®. Coming from the humblest of beginnings as workwear pants, Levi’s® 501® jeans have become a blank canvas for self expression that transcends the boundaries of culture, and class. This is an incredible moment and milestone for the Levi’s® brand and through The Greatest Story Ever Worn campaign we aim to celebrate the legacy of the 501®, its unrivaled breadth and global relevance, and to inspire the next chapters.” said Chris Jackman, VP of Brand Marketing, Levi’s.
“Early Levi’s spots were some of the pieces that actually inspired me to pursue commercial filmmaking. It is an honor to now be part of their cinematic legacy. I always gravitate toward brands and creatives who lean into authentic storytelling and, with this piece, we were able to pay homage to a small but powerful story from the vast history of Levi’s. Everyone involved was willing to push the idea of commerciality and I believe that courage led to us creating a beautiful film.” said Matsoukas.
The launch of The Greatest Story Ever Worn kicks off the celebration of the 501® jeans’ 150th anniversary. More stories will be shared throughout 2023 along with milestone celebrations around the world.