To support the mounting war effort abroad, manufacturers on the American homefront had to make a number of sacrifices to ensure that troops could get the supplies they needed. Levi Strauss & Co. was one such company, adjusting its production so that it could keep its doors open and continue producing jeans. It was during these years that the 501 experienced a number of changes, losing rivets and watch pockets and seeing branded buttons replaced by standard-issue items.
In celebration of American mid-war ingenuity, Levi’s is recreating its 1944 501 jeans as part of its ‘Perfect Imperfections’ collection. Limited to just 501 pairs, there will be 5 distinct styles, each displaying a different manufacturing inconsistency of the period. For instance, some pairs will be missing extra red tabs, while other versions will include extra. And because thread was rationed during World War II, the collection will include recreated printed arcuates, with some being regular and some being crooked, misshapen, and even upside down. In fact, some jeans will have no arcuates at all. And if that wasn’t enough — every pair is made using 1940s Cone Mills White Oak denim — the last of the deadstock denim to ever feature in jeans. Available for $425 exclusively on the Levi’s app.