Friday, 23 December 2011
Among its many enduring qualities Lara's world record stands as a continuing subliminal endorsement of Levi Strauss's 501 jeans, the definitive blue jean and a product FB would also willingly have endorsed had he been asked. He has worn 501s for many years.
An original feature of the jeans is that they are shrink to fit - you are meant to buy them big and they reduce to your slim hip dimensions when they wash. Early advertisements suggested that you should go into the bath with them on to make sure that they shrunk to your shape. FB was devoted but he never went that far. Since the 1980s Levis have been noted for a series of iconic advertisements featuring significant songs eg I heard it Thru the Grapevine, Stand By Me and so on. But their promotion wasn't always so slick. FB recalls a radio ad from Radio Luxemburg many years ago in which a vocal challenge is made to the sheriff - 'Come on Earp, will ya go for yer guns'. 'Nope'. After several repetitions, Earp is asked why he won't go for his guns 'Cos I ain't got my Levis on,' came the answer and sales rocketed.
Levis have never made cricket equipment of clothing, more's the pity. But FB remembers turning out for his Oxford College in a pair of white levi jeans when funds were too limited to invest in replacement cricket trousers. FB in white jeans - now there's an image that you don't want to think too hard about.