SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.), the global leader in jeanswear, today announced it has made the winning bid for a brown leather Levi’s® ‘Cossack’ jacket owned by Albert Einstein, which was auctioned today at the prestigious Christie’s auction house in London.
The jacket, which is descended in a direct line from Albert Einstein’s family to the present owner, was acquired by Levi Strauss & Co. for the value of £110,500 ($146,744). The garment was purchased by Einstein when he was becoming a US citizen in the mid-1930s and was worn by him regularly during the period as he was becoming an “official” American. Einstein was often photographed in the jacket, with some of the most famous images including a photo by Lotte Jacobi in 1938 and a cover of TIME magazine in April of the same year.
Einstein is said to have worn the jacket so often that a colleague at Princeton in the years 1936-38, Leopold Infeld, said in his autobiography, “One of my colleagues in Princeton asked me, ‘If Einstein dislikes his fame and would like to increase his privacy, why does he … wear his hair long, a funny leather jacket, no socks, no suspenders, no ties?’ The answer is simple. The idea is to restrict his needs and, by this restriction, increase his freedom. We are slaves of millions of things … Einstein tried to reduce them to the absolute minimum. Long hair minimized the need for the barber. Socks can be done without. One leather jacket solves the coat problems for many years.”
In 1999, TIME named Albert Einstein the Person of the Century. In the same issue Levi’s® 501® jeans were named the fashion item of the 20th century.
“Albert Einstein was a genius and an icon. This jacket is just one more example of Levi’s® products authentically being at the center of culture,” said Tracey Panek, Historian for Levi Strauss & Co. “Amazingly, after all these years, Einstein’s jacket retains his scent and smells of smoke. It feels so satisfying to be a part of preserving this history. I'm thrilled to see the product coming home to the LS&Co. Archives.”
“The response to Albert Einstein’s leather ‘Cossack’ jacket by Levi Strauss & Co. in Christie’s Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale has been exciting, generating international interest,” said Thomas Venning, Head of Books & Manuscripts, London. “We are pleased that Levi Strauss & Co. has acquired this iconic item of clothing for their archives – something the Nobel-Prize winning scientist was rarely photographed out of, even during his 1935 holiday to Bermuda.”
About the Levi’s® brand
The Levi’s® brand epitomizes classic American style and effortless cool. Since their invention by Levi Strauss & Co. in 1873, Levi’s® jeans have become one of the most recognizable garments of clothing in the world – capturing the imagination and loyalty of people for generations. Today, the Levi’s® brand portfolio continues to evolve through a relentless pioneering and innovative spirit that is unparalleled in the apparel industry. Our range of leading jeanswear and accessories are available in more than 110 countries, allowing individuals around the world to express their personal style. For more information about the Levi’s® brand, its products and stores, please visit levi.com.
About Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest brand-name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi’s®, Dockers®, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™, and Denizen® brands. Its products are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide through a combination of chain retailers, department stores, online sites, and a global footprint of approximately 2,800 retail stores and shop-in-shops. Levi Strauss & Co.’s reported fiscal 2015 net revenues were $4.5 billion. For more information, go to http://levistrauss.com.