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Fade Friday – Levi’s 501XX (8 Years, Washes Unknown)

We’ve been fortunate to feature a wide range of amazing denims in our Fade Fridays thus far; from the shredded and downright dirty to the picture perfect and well-aged. However, we’ve yet to include a denim quite like this. Much appreciation to Arie van den Berg, whom lives in Rotterdam, Netherlands and sent us this information and photos several weeks ago.

An avid denim head, Arie picked up this pair of Levi’s 501xx Shrink-To-Fit in April 2003 in New York City for a mere $25 USD (!). He wore them daily for 6 months straight before taking them for a dip in the Mediterranean Sea in Tunisia (for further reading, see our previous article, “Raw Denim Coral Beach Wash – The Definitive Guide).

Once dry, he wore them daily again for another 6 months through literally all types of activities – working, cooking, cleaning, parties, cycling, etc. – followed by another soak. However, shortly after the one year anniversary, he began to wash them normally and consequently saw drastic indigo fading.

From 2005 until present, he has had to repair rips and tears with many patches (as seen below). He’s altered many areas, including the lower back-pocket, button fly, and crotch; and continues to repair as needed. Despite the fades are not as vivid as past Fade Fridays (e.g. honey combs), this once simple pair of Levi’s denim undoubtedly serves as a prized possession for Arie. After all, raw denim is a personal journey.

It’s always good to see work like this not go unnoticed as well. He has won denim contests held by the reputable Amsterdam denim shop, Tenue De Nimes, and fashion magazine, Blend. One of his prizes included a free pair of Denim Demon raw denim, who no doubt would be more than happy to see Arie put their denim to the test!


  • Name: Levi’s 501xx Shrink-To-Fit
  • Weight: 12.5 Oz.
  • Fit: Straight
  • Denim: 100% Cotton USA
  • Length of Wear: 8 Years
  • Number of Washes: Unknown
Photos – BEFORE (source: levis.com)


Levis 501XX Shrink-To-FIt

Levis 501XX Shrink-To-FIt

Photos – AFTER

Levis 501xx Shrink-To-Fit

Levis 501XX Shrink-To-FIt

Levis 501XX Shrink-To-FIt

Stay Raw!

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