This is itA pair of 1978 501® jeans shared the world with a lot of earth-shattering events: the first test-tube baby was born, American artist Norman Rockwell died, and the Sex Pistols performed their last concert—all in San Francisco, the home of the 501® Jean. The 501® Jean of the late 70s also shared shelf space with pants made in a dizzying array of fabrics that had become popular in the “Me Decade”: denim Big Bells, corduroy Big Bells, denim Straight Legs, brushed twill Bell Bottoms, corduroy Boot Jeans, polyester/cotton slacks masquerading as jeans, and beyond. Despite the turbulent times, Levi Strauss and Co. stuck to the basics when it came to its most iconic style. The 1978 501® Jean had a straight but still generous twisted leg. It sported a lower rise than earlier 501® Jeans and had a little “e” Red Tab, which was first introduced in 1971. But like the other 501® Jeans from the century before it, the 1978 501® Jean still came with the always-classic button fly and red-orange contrast stitching. Many vintage enthusiasts who grew up with this 501® remember it not for its fit or details, but for the special Cone Mills denim that it was made from. Rumor has it that Cone Mills began adding sulfur during the dye process to get more distance out of the petroleum-based indigo dye that they were using. This new recipe resulted in a truly unique fabric that was a bit brighter and faded out faster, a welcome change for Levi’s® fans who wanted to fade their jeans as quickly as possible.