Vintage Jeans

A collection of rare and expensive pants.

In 1989, Levi Strauss & Co. hired Lynn Downey as its first historian. Her job was to fill in the gaps of the company's historical collections, which were decimated in the fires following the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. In the last 19 years, she's spent her days horsetrading with dealers around the world for old jeans, which sometimes command more than the average American salary. In this gallery, she presents some of the company's rarest pieces.

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Lynn Downey

Historian and writer Lynn Downey has written for Sportswear International, Arts & Living California, and California History. Her most recent book is Levi Strauss & Co.

Photos by Hangauer/Kissinger. Courtesy Levi Strauss & Co. Archives, San Francisco.

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