Safely preserved in a vault deep inside Levi’s® headquarters in San Francisco lies an archive of over 20,000 rare and unique examples of Levi’s® clothing and artifacts dating back to as early as 1873.

Kept at an even temperature and wrapped in unbleached cotton, these delicate specimens are carefully protected by the Levi’s® Historian and strictly reserved for the use of our designers. Each season, our team pores through the archives with white-gloved hands, uncovering the secrets of our past and then bringing them back into the world through faithful reproductions that are as fresh now as they were back then.

The term Hot Rod first appeared in California in the 1930s to describe cars with large engines modified for linear speed. These early cars (usually called soup-ups) were typically old TModels from scrapyards customized by young enthusiasts with little or no money but a D.I.Y. punk attitude.

After WWII Hot Rodding exploded and be- came one of post-war America’s biggest crazes. The cars were raced at tremendously high speeds on dry lake or river beds. To achieve these high speeds the cars were stripped of non-essential parts including fenders, hoods, windshields etc. to make the body as light as possible and fitted with Flathead engines. These engines had a simple design allowing virtually limitless performance enhance- ments.

Money in their pockets and mechanical skills gained in the military made the production of dream cars possible. By the 1950s sophisticated paint designs decorated the body and competition in customizing became so fierce that top cars barely saw daylight except for drag strips and exhibition halls. Levi’s® clothing was first choice for the sharply dressed car owners and spectators. With ankle cropped pants and short sleeved shirts worn with straw hats their look was as considered as the machines themselves. This sport and the people involved is what inspired the Levi’s® Vintage ClothingTM SS13 collection.

T: Rocket Team via Levi’s
Rocket Magazine Barcelona


Journalist Editor in Chief and Founder of Rocket Magazine Barcelona Menswear Fashion since 2008

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