In September of last year, Tenue de Nîmes announced a series of collaborations to mark their 10-year anniversary. In the months after, many killer releases followed. We were at Amsterdam Denim Days in October to witness the special celebration with Japanese legends Momotaro where founder Hisao Manabe presented Menno van Meurs an honorary indigo Kimono during of the launch of their collaborative jean and then again at at Tenue de Nîmes original Elandsgracht store for their official 10th birthday where they launched the indigo dyed Red Wing shoes. Over the course of the celebrations they also teamed up with other close friends including Hansen Garments from Denmark, BDD, Armor Lux, Indigofera, OrSlow and Vans Vault.

To finish off the series they’re celebrating with a bang with the release of the first ever collaboration with (in the world) with Levi’s Vintage Clothing. Released a few weeks back on Friday May 24th, the two brands came together on a limited-edition reproduction of 1970s vintage Levi’s 501s from Tenue de Nîmes private archive. Menno got his hands on the vintage jeans during a visit to the Eureka lab in 2015, where by chance he discovered a special 1970s 501 model in Levi’s own backyard, San Francisco.

Tenue de Nîmes x Levi’s Vintage Clothing

“I am passionate about vintage jeans. They are the most personal and ‘revealing’ form of clothing out there. The life of the person who wore the jeans can quite literally be derived from the ‘wear-out’ of the jean.”

Perusing a vintage store in the city’s historic, colorful Mission neighborhood, he came across these incomparable jeans, and it was love at first sight. “These jeans are like a piece of art. What makes art interesting to me is when it can’t be captured at first glance. Each time I looked at the jeans, I discovered new details, which is why I consider it a phenomenal find,” Menno says about this special edition design, which features replicas of the original’s unique repairs and orange paint splatters.

The 1976 501 Archive Piece next to the Tenue de Nîmes Limited Replica

“It was a challenge to reproduce these 1970s 501 Originals with so much repair and paint details but we’re very happy with the results.” Paul O’Neill, Senior Designer for Levi’s® Vintage Clothing.

Menno worked together with Paul O’Neill, Senior Designer for Levi’s® Vintage Clothing to recreate the jeans in the most authentic and compelling way. As you can imagine from two of the worlds denim purists, this meant getting the wash, finish and fit exactly right. As you can see from original and replica they did a grand job at mirroring the jeans original characteristics which include paint splatters, patch and repair work and an incredible fade. We can imagine both Neil and Menno put the wash technicians through the paces to achieve the desired look, but you can’t help but swoon over the execution in the finished product. No doubt they’re stoked on it too!

Levi’s Vintage Clothing X Tenue de Nîmes special anniversary box

We were fortunate enough to get our hands one of the 75 hand-numbered pieces, each of which come in a special anniversary box.

The jeans Levi’s Vintage Clothing X Tenue de Nîmes collaboration jeans are available to shop now online and at the store at Elandsgracht 60.

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Denim trend consultant, owner of @samutaro