Levi’s. 90’s Levi’s 501, original cut. Great jeans. That’s what my father bought me almost 2 decades ago while he was living in the US. He was trendy without being tacky. I trusted him. But come to think of it now, I realized now that I trusted him because he was well-traveled. He had to have a great taste. He had to have picked up great clothes all the time for my sisters, my mother and I. So, instantaneously I fell in love with the Levi’s jeans. They way they looked against my sun kissed skin.They were a size 30. All my teenage life I wore these size 30 regular fitted Levi’s jeans yet I weighed 38kg!The imbalance. Today i sat and laughed about it. The thought of it, the horror! Yesterday has began to reappear. Every last detail of the fabric, fit, sundries and even the smell of those jeans. Fast-forward to 2011,they were now different. They had somehow changed their authentic smell and shape.They were more like high waist-ed jeans and smelled like different futures! I didn’t know how to feel about this. Maybe I had gained weight, weight I struggled to put on ever since primary school.But I was thankful of how they smelt.I just know that I am sick of the cliché 21st jean smell. Helpless, tired of the endless pursuit of wearing them, Late 2011, i put them in a “mozimbabwe” (a guyanese samsonite bag batswana call mozimbabwe). Apparently in Zimbabwe its called “motswana”. Buffoonery! Story for another day. Years passed. I can’t remember the last time minutes disappeared so quickly!I put them away because they now left a million questions i couldn’t answer. All my childhood, in there, stored away. I had stored away, my friends’ stains, the soiled knees, the windy rain stains,fading lawn stains, the tears, the candy wraps, moments of solitude, i had stored away my precious time. A quarter of my life. Oh. There came a time where I had to look like a certain era for a themed party. Oh. I revisited my happy childhood. My original Levi’s 501 jeans. They were still, in 2012, realer than the
nonsenseLevi’s in Options chinese stores. I know this because of their arcuate trademark,material of the patch used and printing on the patch. If the patch material seems authentic, most times the printing is not.If the jeans are anything other than black 501s from the 1980s-if they have that on the label then they are fake. Levi’s leather patches are always pale in colour even when new!Its easy to spot a fake, find Clues in the Hue of the jean,check the correct chain stitched hems including the pocket shape, pocket placement and the shape of the yoke. The rear tag of the fake is made of different quality and colour, and the material is thicker. The original’s rear tag is almost paper-like and paper-thin. Spelling. Check! Anyways, I put my original 501’s on. My heart ached for the lost time. It ached for the places I left, the Godly lived childhood. I knew it was too late to turn around. I felt 1999 again.It was then i knew that,man, i loved these jeans. But i knew that somewhere a “stranger” awaits. Mid 2012, I had to say goodbye to my ORIGINAL high-waisted jeans of almost two decades. I didn’t want to, but I had to. Long story. This time it was never about the fit nor the smell. It was all about recycling joy.
Ever since…I never really had the urge to buy jeans, unless they were really different. Different being washed,acid-washed, ripped or an amazing regular fit. Now leggings happened, totally ruined the jean era. Here is to my “love-hate” relationship to my perfect original 501 Levi’s jeans. I wore them for the last time in 2011 with my brown flat boots. I guess you always remember your first love.
….This is me, dear Original Levi’s 501, I miss you and I know that you are a gift of love utterly unasked for by any tight butt. But since you’ve been gone, I’ve tried these..
My butt’s keeper…my Levi’s.
I don’t own these great genes, the pictures nor the work but they are surely some of the good 21st century “genes” that i gravitate towards..
till next time because you deserve great genes.
the Khoi Fro Fashion Artist.
photographer| Khwezi Mphatlalatsan’