In 1957 the Fender Stratocaster electric guitar was a spry three years young; that same year, Levi’s original 1873 patent for riveted denim work pants — the first jeans — was already an octogenarian. But that doesn’t mean those jeans didn’t love to rock ‘n’ roll. As part of a series paying tribute to America’s vintage Hot Rod culture, this spring Levi’s is rolling out one-off garments and items that would love to take your pink slip at the drag strip. We’re no stranger to Levi’s that aren’t jeans, but when we heard they paired up with Fender to produce a Stratocaster replica, we started drooling, because we like Americana — especially when we can get a double helping of the stuff.
The guitar is a perfect xerox of the original axe, a custom job by John Cruz of the Fender Custom Shop. He gave the Strat a worn-in look to mimic years of shredding and love. From the chipped fretboard to the heavily patina-ed pick guard, you’d believe this puppy’s been through a lot. Allusions to hot rod culture include a very vintage-looking strap, a “57” graphic and a supermurgitroid racing stripe running the length of the body. Buddy Holly would be proud.
Levi’s contribution to the collaboration is a full denim getup fit for a Fender flinger. A leather-trimmed denim vest festooned with a flaming tire graphic on the back pairs with patched, frayed and faded Red Tab jeans — perfect for any Hep Cat worth his salt, whether he’s slinging a Strat over his shoulder or laying down rubber in the Sock Hop parking lot.