Join us for a festive, outdoor celebration of the patenting of Levi Strauss’ blue jean, which happened 150 years ago. Levi’ Strauss and Co. remembers this moment by saying: “What began as a patent for copper rivets on work pants granted on May 20, 1873, has become the most iconic and influential piece of clothing ever created over the last 150 years.” 

Village Preservation is bringing you a day that honors the East Village roots of Levi Strauss and his family. This key part of the development of Levi Strauss’ career and his family’s presence in the East Village will be recognized and celebrated with this multi-faceted outdoor event, including readings, music and dance performances, as well as some neighborhood immigrant history. We’ll honor the ingenuity of Levi Strauss, who came to join his family on the Lower East Side in the mid 1800’s, and the contributions that our neighborhoods and immigrants have made to this country. 

Performances include a performance from musician Richard Barone and a dance performance from GIG with Whitney G-Bowley, Yuriko Miyake, and Lindsay Poulis.

Levi Strauss was born to an Ashkenazi Jewish family on February 26, 1829, in the Franconia region of the Kingdom of Bavaria in the German Confederation. Due to harsh Anti-Semitic laws and violence, at the age of 18 he immigrated to the United States with his mother and two sisters to join his brothers who had begun a wholesale dry goods business in New York City. J. Strauss Brother & Co. was located at 108 Liberty Street in Lower Manhattan. By 1853, the family resided at what was then called 165 Houston Street, when Levi’s brother Louis signed Levi’s citizenship paperwork. 165 Houston Street was listed in the New York Directory as both the residence of Jonas Strauss and J. Strauss & Brother Dry Goods. Learn more about this history and come have some fun in the sun at Gansevoort Plaza on a Friday afternoon in May!

Friday, May 19, 2023
2:00 pm

Friday, May 19, 2023


Location: Gansevoort Plaza, 38 Gansevoort St



Click here for photos from this past event.