Ultimate Denim Collection – The Jeans Museum

Started in 1973 by Ruedi Karrer in the Swiss mountains, The Jeans Museum first opened the door to its Zurich location in 2001. The Jeans Museum encourage all denim heads to use their raw denim stuff as long as possible, and suggests that they never throw them away.  Over 12’000 beloved denim items have found a safe place to survive for ever in a real-life exhibit, instead of an online-only medium.

At the end of the 1960s, the Karrer family of 12 received two Levi’s pants from the 50s out from a cloth donation parcel. One of their sons, Ruedi, got quickly hooked on raw denim, an obsession that has continued ever since. As he tells it, “Corduroy pants simply weren’t interesting after that.”


Ultimate Denim Collection – The Jeans Museum

Ruedi Karrer, founder of The Jeans Museum

The first two Levis pants worn by the Karrer brothers 1970-1975.


Personal items worn by Ruedi Karrer from 1975 until 2010.

The Jeans Museum displays the high potential of denim evolution in many jeans and denim jackets from the 50’s up to current pieces. Although the main items are heavily-worn raw denim items with extreme fades, all manner of denim goods are welcome in the brand-independent museum. As of this year, The Jeans Museum has expanded their location, allowing it even more room to display more pieces.

The history and production of denim is well documented on the internet and in the brand headquarters of Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler. So the main topics at the museum are about vintage items from 1950 until 1980, heavy weight denim, raw denim, heavily-used denim rags, serial fadings, and customized items.



Well loved Nudie Jeans donated by a Canadian denim head hanging in the showroom.


There are many boxes of jeans waiting to be displayed.


A customized Levi’s jacket on display.

Aside their extensive inventory, The Jeans Museum is currently working on an exhibition for the new showaroom as well as a new English-language website. There are also plans for an organisation, the membership fees for which will be the main source of funding for the expansion of the museum.

With the goal of rescuing as many as possible beloved denim articles from the garbage or rag bin, The Jeans Museum hopes to keep the spirit of raw denim alive forever.  Any and all visitors are welcome, and Ruedi is always gracious for donations of both denim and funding. For more information feel free to check out their website or send them an e-mail.