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28 Dec

You Just Bought a Pair of Eighties Levi’s Jeans.

You Just Bought

LOS ANGELES —You Just Bought  Surrounded by neat stacks of perfectly pressed vintage Levi’s jeans and racks of faded blue denim jackets, Zip Stevenson sits amongst a wealth of old clothes.

His classic pieces, sold at his Denim Doctors store near downtown Los Angeles, are many a long time old and fetch about $200 to $300 for a pair of jeans. But his most dear pair of denim pants are much, much older and should not at the shop. They’re safely locked away.

In early October, Stevenson and his bidding partner, Kyle Haupert, a San Diego vintage denim dealer, paid $76,000 for a pair of Eighties Levi’s that were being auctioned off in an RV park on the Durango Vintage Festivus in northern Recent Mexico.

After paying a buyer’s 15 percent fee, the blue jeans ended up costing $87,400. Haupert paid 90 percent of the worth tag, and Stevenson kicked within the 10 percent Haupert didn’t have.

Now the 2 are strategizing methods to maximize their investment on the pair of jeans, which were found years ago in a mine shaft somewhere within the American West, the location a well-kept secret.

These jeans are extremely scarce. Collectors estimate there are fewer than 10 pairs of Levi’s jeans from this era in private hands.  “Levi’s dating to the late Eighties are rare,” conceded Tracey Panek, the director of the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives.

Panek said the San Francisco company has its own collection that ranges from the earliest Levi’s riveted denim pants from the 1870s to current Levi’s, but she didn’t say what number of.

Stevenson said he knows of fewer than 10 pairs of Eighties Levi’s held by collectors in Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Sweden and america.

Zip Stevenson inside his Denim Doctors store. Photo: Deborah Belgum

That makes this recent purchase by Stevenson and Haupert, who didn’t reply to interview requests, more intriguing. Right away they need to hold onto the jeans because they imagine the worth will only rise. “We’re hoping to make numerous money on this afterward down the road,” said Stevenson, a seasoned denim dealer who opened his first vintage denim store in 1994.

Currently, the 2 aren’t actively in search of to sell the blue jeans. As a substitute, they envision letting the vintage piece increase in value, like a fantastic painting cherished for its artistic details.

“It’s a tremendous thing to own something like this,” Stevenson said. “Right away, we’re in chapter considered one of a five-chapter story. I would love to amass a couple of more really old vintage jeans. It will be great to place them in a curated event that pulls the eye of people that might otherwise buy a precious painting or sculpture.”

They may possibly display the vintage pants at Art Basel or have a well known influencer photographed with the old Levi’s. “For denim collectors, the more pristine the jeans, the more precious they’re. So, in the event that they looked like they literally were out of the box, a jeans collector would pay $120,000 to $150,000 easily,” Stevenson explained. “But an inventive art collector, they’re taking a look at it from a really different standpoint and might pay more.”

The jeans are in relatively good condition for having been left in an old mine for greater than 100 years. There’s a cloth repair patch along the belt line and the pants are sprinkled with wax from candles utilized by miners to light their way. The back has just one pocket, as an alternative of the conventional two pockets seen in later iterations.

Printed on the within the pants is the phrase, “The one kind made by white labor,” which was put in after the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited Chinese laborers from entering america. Levi’s points out that it stopped printing that phrase within the Eighteen Nineties and today is completely against racism and promotes equality.

While the extremely rare jeans won’t be offered on the market soon, the owners are open to creating them available for museums as a part of a retrospective on American denim or American fashion.

Stevenson and Haupert have had inquiries along those lines. One among Stevenson’s clients in Japan asked to rent the jeans for a couple of days because the important attraction at his store’s sales exhibition where a number of vintage denim will probably be sold.

The Durango Vintage Festivus, where the Eighties Levi’s were sold, was organized by Brit Eaton, a vintage denim hunter, who put together this primary edition of a four-day event held on the Tico Time River Resort in Aztec, Recent Mexico.

Stevenson was there to stock his store and find merchandise for wholesale clients back in L.A.  Haupert, a vintage clothing dealer, drove with friends from San Diego to ascertain out the festival.

When the bidding for the Eighties Levi’s began, Stevenson had already spent a great deal on merchandise and will only bid thus far. The bidding began at $20,000 with a web-based pre-bid, after which increased to $28,000. “I raised my hand up to maneuver the bid to $50,000,” Stevenson recalled. “After that, a girl began bidding against me. I paused at $60,000.”

Then Haupert, who was sitting right behind Stevenson, leaned forward and asked the denim specialist what he considered the jeans. “I said, ‘They’re great. They’re really, really good.’ They’re wearable, which is the one pair like that that I’ve seen with my very own eyes in 20 years,” Stevenson said. “The guy who found them in a mine shaft, Michael Harris, a denim historian, said he had been to 50 mines within the last five years and hadn’t found anything of equal quality. In order that to me indicated they were really rare.”

Stevenson knew Haupert was able to bid strongly, but he could only go thus far. So, they decided to team up as the worth rose.

Their winning bid made headlines around the globe, and so they were inundated with interview requests. Now they’re pinching themselves in amazement that they’re the owners of some very sought-after jeans. “It’s sort of mind-boggling,” Stevenson said.

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