The original denim jacket that evolved into an icon of cool is celebrating its golden anniversary. Levi Strauss & Co. and fans around the world are commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Trucker jacket — an American original that has made fashion history.
“Levi’s Trucker jackets represent a unique American garment that has become a global style trend,” said Tracey Panek, Levi Strauss & Co. historian.
Trucker jackets hit the market 50 years ago when a rising youth culture expressed individuality through clothing, music and art. The aesthetic of San Francisco’s Summer of Love is a fashion statement still heard ‘round the world. Just look around at the nouveau hippie styles and the jean jacket that never left.
“Our Levi’s Trucker jacket is definitely a classic. It’s been copied repeatedly by design houses all over the globe,” Panek said. “I love that it’s a global celebration—a nod to the worldwide popularity this original denim jacket has had on fashion. “
Panek recently returned from Dubai, where the jacket’s 50th birthday party was staged at the largest mall in the world.
“We invited 12 local artists to transform their Truckers with their cultural tastes,” said Panek. “Saudi Designer Arwa Al Banawi, for instance, created a Trucker with Arabic lettering in red and the same gold ribbon used on traditional Saudi royal dress.”
Yet with its red tab and blue denim, the Levi’s jacket remains an American as apple pie article of clothing that makes a free-spirited fashion statement: “life, liberty, and pursuit of laid-back happiness.” The brand’s iconic status owes in part to a longstanding reputation. Levi Strauss & Co. has been in business for 164 years. In 1870, they manufactured the first blue jeans, known back then as riveted waist overalls.
“We continue to represent an authentic, democratic brand that symbolizes youth, freedom and individual self-expression,” she said. “The Type III is versatile. It can be dressed up or down, and just like our jeans it becomes a canvas.”