LynnWe already clued you in to the new Levi’s book penned by Lynn Downey(left,) the brand historian for Levi Strauss. This time, we were lucky enough to bend her ear for a bit for our Five Questions for Five Pockets series.

1. What was your first pair of jeans?

I think it was a pair of Levi’s For Gals beige jeans covered with orange flowers. That must have been about 1968 or something. I eventually graduated to 5-pocket denim, though when I entered high school in California in 1969, girls were not allowed to wear pants to school. We could wear pants in our senior year, 1972, but not jeans. So I would get home from school and jump into my Levi’s jeans. I’m the third generation (at least) of my family to wear Levi’s jeans.

2. Who do you think is the ultimate denim icon?

Well, I think I’d have to say….Levi Strauss! Anyone who invents a product that people are still wearing more than 130 years later has earned icon status in my book.  Other than Levi, I would have to name the anonymous working man of the 19th century as the ultimate denim icon: our first customer, the man who made Levi’s jeans part of the DNA of America.

3. What are your current favorite jeans?

Ooh, my 525 boot cut jeans. Love these jeans, they are a fabulous fit, especially on my 53-year-old body. I also love my Levi’s Capital E "Swank" jeans.

4. What denim trend do you wish would go away?

You know, I like all denim trends. That’s because I love how versatile denim is, you can do so much with it, and I love to see how creative people get with denim, whether it’s design, finishing, or packaging. As a historian it’s a treat for me to work all day with vintage Levi’s jeans, and then go out on the street and see the modern interpretation of the original.

5. What’s your number one rule for denim?

Wear it everywhere!

PHOTO: Hangauer/Kissinger

14 thoughts on “Five Questions for Five Pockets: Lynn Downey, Levi Strauss”

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the awesome work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  2. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the awesome work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  3. Hello,
    I have two or three pair of Levi’s from 50’s & 60’s they have all the tell tale signs,
    Red cloth tab w/capital E, Leather patch, My sister in-law who saves everything has them. She booked bands in the 60’s and was at woodstock.
    Would some one please contact me regarding the sale of them.
    Thank you
    Sharon M.
    strawberrym7@yahoo.com

  4. Hello,
    I have two or three pair of Levi’s from 50’s & 60’s they have all the tell tale signs,
    Red cloth tab w/capital E, Leather patch, My sister in-law who saves everything has them. She booked bands in the 60’s and was at woodstock.
    Would some one please contact me regarding the sale of them.
    Thank you
    Sharon M.
    strawberrym7@yahoo.com

  5. I watched the documentary American Originals “Levis: A Sewing Legand” They refered us to this web site to find out if our old Jeans are worth any big $
    My sister in-law has some from possably the 50’s and defenatly the the 60’s. Can you help me find what to look for to see what there worth if any thing?
    strawberrym7@yahoo.com

  6. I watched the documentary American Originals “Levis: A Sewing Legand” They refered us to this web site to find out if our old Jeans are worth any big $
    My sister in-law has some from possably the 50’s and defenatly the the 60’s. Can you help me find what to look for to see what there worth if any thing?
    strawberrym7@yahoo.com

  7. hi my name is Maria and about 2 or 3 weeks i send in 3 photos of my levi’s jean. so i can know more about the history of this paricular pants. and wish site is trustworthy to place it on an auction. you did say you were able to send them back with my returned address whiched i did. is there any problem with this process. i mean to find out the history of my pants. well thank you and god bless you.

  8. hi my name is Maria and about 2 or 3 weeks i send in 3 photos of my levi’s jean. so i can know more about the history of this paricular pants. and wish site is trustworthy to place it on an auction. you did say you were able to send them back with my returned address whiched i did. is there any problem with this process. i mean to find out the history of my pants. well thank you and god bless you.

  9. Hi Lynn Downey. I really enjoyed our visits during the Panama Cruise. And yes, she wears jeans all the time. You are such a neat person, I’m really glad we got to meet you.

    John

  10. Hi Lynn Downey. I really enjoyed our visits during the Panama Cruise. And yes, she wears jeans all the time. You are such a neat person, I’m really glad we got to meet you.

    John