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SEND THOSE MEMORY-FILLED VINTAGE JEANS HOME TO LEVI STRAUSS & CO.

 SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- If you collect vintage Levi's(R) jeans or just happen to own a really old pair, Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&CO.) wants to hear from you.
 Today is the 164th birthday of Levi Strauss, the man who fashioned the original American blue jean. To celebrate, Levi Strauss & Co. announces the "Levi's Send Them Home Search," the hunt for the oldest pair of Levi's 501(R) button-fly jeans in the United States.
 "The 'Send Them Home Search' is a fun way to honor Levi Strauss' birthday and identify historically significant jeans, which we may add to our archival collection," said Lynn Downey, Levi Strauss & Co. historian. "Even though we've been making 501 jeans for more than 120 years, the oldest pair we own only dates back to 1900."
 The search is open to anyone 18 years of age or older who owns a pair of pre-1960 Levi's 501 button-fly jeans. Here's how to enter: Take two photos of the vintage jeans -- a close-up of the front from waist to thigh, and a close-up of the back from waist to thigh. Send the photos (not the jeans) along with your name, address, phone number and, if you know it, the history of your jeans to: Levi's Send Them Home Search, Levi Strauss & Co., 501 Second St., Suite 420, San Francisco, CA 94107. All entries must be postmarked by midnight, April 16, 1993. Entries will not be returned. Remember, don't send jeans -- only photo entries accepted.
 Consumers can call 800-456-LEVI to hear a complete recording of the search contest rules.
 The owner of the oldest pair of jeans, as determined by LS&CO., will receive a grand prize of $1,000 cash and an all-expense-paid trip for two to San Francisco to visit LS&CO.'s world headquarters as well as the company's oldest plant where 501 jeans have been made since 1906. Two runners-up will receive special vintage denim prizes. Twenty-five finalists also will be recognized.
 The oldest 25 pairs of jeans will also be considered for the permanent Levi's collection of historic jeans. LS&CO. may offer to purchase the jeans, if the finalists are willing to part with them.
 According to Downey, the title of the contest refers to the loyal Levi's consumers who can't bear to throw out their old Levi's jeans, and all the memories that go with them, but instead "send them home" to the company.
 Levi Strauss created the first pair of jeans out of heavyweight brown canvas in 1853. The 501 button-fly jean, as we know it today, has been made since 1873. Designed originally as sturdy pants for cowboys and Gold Rush miners in the wild West, they quickly became the uniform for the hard-working man. The popularity of blue jeans didn't spread East until the 1930s, however, when Easterners discovered Levi's jeans while visiting dude ranches out West. During World War II, the U.S. government added to the demand for Levi's jeans by declaring them an essential commodity for the war effort. Pop culture finally brought 501 jeans to icon status when actors Marlon Brando and James Dean wore them in two classic movies, "The Wild Ones" and "Rebel Without a Cause." Ever since, Levi's jeans have been considered a wardrobe staple from the rodeo circuit to urban streets.
 "Levi's collectors like knowing their jeans represent tradition and authenticity. Like baseball and hotdogs, the 501 jean exists beyond the latest trend. It's classic, a real piece of American history," Downey said.
 Levi Strauss & Co. is the world's largest apparel manufacturer with record sales in 1992 of $5.6 billion.
 NOTE: Levi's(R) and 501(R) are registered trademarks of Levi Strauss & Co. All rights reserved.
 -0- 2/26/93 R
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information and photographs, contact Dori Wofford of Levi Strauss, 415-544-7667./
 /CONTACT: Dori Wofford, 415-544-7667, or Brad Williams, 415-544-7435, both of Levi Strauss/


CO: Levi Strauss & Co. ST: California IN: REA TEX SU:

GT-TB -- SF002 -- 0684 02/26/93 07:00 EST
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Date:Feb 26, 1993
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