Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Lee 130th Anniversary Retrospective



After nearly a century and a half of innovation, tenacity, and style, Lee continues to show the multicultural and multigenerational prowess of denim

We’ve always considered denim to be a timeless piece of clothing. Chances are, you have at least one in your closet right now. Pioneering the material’s fame into popular culture–outside of the work environment it was intended for–is Lee. This 2019, they celebrated their 130 years in the industry. A Kansas-born brand, Lee has evolved from creating workwear for gritty work environments, to innovating the material for fashionable clothing fit for any age, gender, and culture.

Their anniversary year wasn’t short of the celebrations. Capping off 2019 with a bang, we’ve rounded up all the momentous accomplishments of the brand, from new collaborations and capsule collections, to cover partnerships:

Lee 130 Years Collection

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Lee has always been in the forefront of creating pieces that span from practical-and-durable to classy yet fashionable clothing. Featuring its strong-standing versatility, Lee’s 130 Years Collection was front and center in MEGA’s September digital covers. Some of the brightest personalities were gathered for this celebration, which included Philippe Magalona, Angel Guardian, Kris Lawrence, Chelsea Robato, Patrik Franksson, Sachzna Laparan, Nicole Uy, and Jeff Moses.

Lee x Smiley Collection

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The legendary denim-maker made huge waves as they collaborated with the upbeat icon, Smiley, for a special capsule collection. The 30-piece youthful collection pays homage to 130 years of Lee and is comprised of t-shirts, hoodies, jackets and overalls bearing the brand’s name and the iconic yellow face. Jin Macapagal, Alyanna Angeles, Tony Labrusca, Suzi Abrera, Seth Fedelin, and Angel Guardian sported these happy-go-lucky pieces in cover photos last October.

MEGA and MEGA Man November Issue Covers

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Exuding denim couture from Lee’s 101+ and other special collections, Julie Anne San Jose and Tony Labrusca star in MEGA and MEGA Man’s November issue print covers respectively. Oversized denim jackets, ruffled denim tops, and wide-legged denim jeans on Julie made the tried-and-tested fabric a stylish statement. For Tony, his laid back approach and intent gazes gave the neon-detailed denim jackets, chambray denim button-downs, and patchwork denim jeans a cool edge.

As a warm round of applause for the cult denim favorite, we look back on what has been a stellar year for Lee. At the same time, we stamp our next moves for 2020 and embody the brand’s can’t-stop-won’t-stop spirit:

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