As Levi celebrates its 50th birthday of the Trucker jacket, Brianna Walsh analyses the secret to its longevity.
We all know it and we all love it, want it, need it. It’s the first thing you would spot in your Mother’s old polaroids from the 80s and search fruitlessly for in her wardrobe so you can flaunt to get the authentic vintage version. Despite the emergence and exit of on-trend Winter coats every year, there’s one staple that is guaranteed to be spotted on runways season after season, and that is the Levi’s Trucker. The jacket celebrates half a century this year and the wardrobe favourite is looking better than ever. What makes this piece transcend the barriers of time and remain just as iconic today as it did back in 1967?
The Levi’s Type III Trucker jacket was designed by Jack Lucier as a companion to the “505-zipper fly” jean in the 1960s. The original 1880s denim coat was reworked into a now famous, lasting design. Pleats and copper rivets were replaced with the modern double V seams that symmetrically align the otherwise boxy shape. To this day, the brand’s historian Tracey Panek cites this development as one of the major factors in ensuring the Trucker’s longevity. The resulting design was flattering on almost everybody, with Panek reasoning that the jacket is so popular due to how slimming it is.
The jacket celebrates half a century this year and the wardrobe favourite is looking better than ever.
To quote Bert Lance, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Levi took this stance when developing the Trucker and despite some minor changes, the basic design of the Type III jacket has remained constant since its inception. The jacket you buy today is essentially the same as that purchased in 1967, with some little developments to make the piece more versatile and wearable. The launch of the jacket in several styles for example, from corduroy to leather to the sell-out Sherpa-lined Trucker, just means the item consistently offers something for everyone.
While it looks great on the masses, there’s something more to the Trucker, something harder to pin down that makes it such a classic. Dubbed by some as simply “an innate coolness,” the American “rebel without a cause” vibes have been notably attached to the jacket’s aesthetic. Levi say that it has been famous style maker’s eagerness to embrace the affordable piece that has given it its own star power over the decades.
Dress it up or dress it down, this jacket is here to stay. Happy 50th birthday to the Trucker. Age really is just a number when it comes to the classics.