Traveling in time: Lee introduces ‘Reissue’, a replicated collection of the first-edition Lee garments ever made for women.

For the limited re-release the US denim brand has selected historical pieces from its global archives to create an homage to Lee’s 130-year history and “the industrious spirit of women who claimed men’s workwear for their own”.
Looks of Lee's Reissue collection
Photo: Lee
Looks of Lee's Reissue collection
The collection presents garments that were introduced in the late 1940s and early 50s. Lee worked with Cone Denim Mills to recreate the raw and washed denim fabrics, including their proprietary lightweight Jelt denim which has a stronger, tighter weave for durable work and western wear. Each garment's integrity was kept by replicating authentic thread choices, hardware and the manufacturing processes of the originals. Other than translating vintage size numbers into current day, everything is the same.


Here’s the choice of styles available:


The Rider Jean
First Issue: February 1947
Reissue: November 2019
Lee Ladies Rider Jeans
Photo: Lee
Lee Ladies Rider Jeans
“The Ladies Lee Rider Jean was identical to men’s. The only difference is a small dart in the yoke to create a more fitted waist for the female physique.”

 

 

All Purpose Blue Jeans
First Issue: July 1950
Reissue: November 2019

Lee All Purpose Blue Jeans
Photo: Lee
Lee All Purpose Blue Jeans
“In October 1949, Lee introduced its second style of denim jeans for women: Ladies Dungarees with a side-opening zipper. This was the very first time Lee referred to its denim as ‘jeans.’
Made with sanforized denim, the smoother feel and workwear pockets gave this pair a distinctively utilitarian vibe for the factory femmes and motor babes.”


Frontier Lady
First Issue: June 1952
Reissue: November 2019
Lee Frontier Lady Jeans
Photo: Lee
Lee Frontier Lady Jeans
“In the early 1950s, Lee Frontier Lady pants capitalized on the increasing popularity of Western attire not only through its name, but also through details: arrow-shaped ‘Fancy Dart’ belt loops, pearl snaps found on cowboy shirts, and a horse-led stagecoach design on its interior woven label.
That same year, actress Joyce Holden wore the Frontier Lady in the rodeo film ‘Bronco Buster’.”


Rider Jacket
First Issue: April 1949
Reissue: November 2019
Lee Rider Jacket
Photo: Lee
Lee Rider Jacket
“The Lee Rider Jacket is a slim, form-fitting denim cowboy jacket with slanted chest pockets (for easy access on horseback), a short-cut yet wide waistband for a better fit. It was common for women to purchase men’s small or even youth-sized Rider jackets for themselves. The most famous appearance was Marilyn Monroe wearing a Lee Rider jacket on the set of her 1961 movie, ‘The Misfits’.”


Betty Madden, VP of Global Design, Lee: "These pieces represent a time when Lee took what was made for men and created jeans made specifically for the female body. They were originally designed and worn by what we call the lovely tough girls: the women who were riding horses, working in factories during the war [...] Today's Reissue is still for those same women – [...] the lovely tough girls who are still making it happen.”



Lee Reissue will be available exclusively on Lee.com and in-store at their flagship store in November, as well as in select boutiques in Europe and the US. Prices begin at $175.

 

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