You may think twice about throwing those jeans into the washing machine.
A pair of Levi’s from the 1880s has sold at auction in New Mexico for $87,400 ($75,000 plus a 15% buyer’s premium).
The jeans were found about five years ago by denim historian Michael Harris in an abandoned mine shaft.
A couple of vintage-clothing collectors teamed up to buy it, 23-year-old Kyle Haupert and Zip Stevenson.
Stevenson has run a denim repair shop in LA for nearly three decades, but had never found a pair quite like this.
”These jeans are extremely rare — especially in this fantastic worn condition and size,” said Stevenson.
Only a couple of similar pairs exist but they’re kept in museums and too delicate to wear.
Stevenson says this pair are ”surprisingly durable, so they definitely can be worn. There’s a couple of soft spots … that could use a bit of reinforcement but otherwise they’re super-duper solid jeans.”
While he says they would considering putting them up for sale to an extremely interested private buyer, Stevenson adds they’d prefer the jeans be bought and displayed in a museum like ”the Smithsonian or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”
For now they’re kept in a bank vault in in L-A and are available for viewing by appointment.