Celebrating 50 Years of LS&Co. in Brazil

Tracey Panek, LS&Co. Historian
Levi Strauss & Co.
July 11, 2022

In 1972, Levi Strauss International launched production, distribution and marketing in Brazil to tap into the country’s tremendous potential. Fifty years later, the team is continuing to harness opportunities to bring Levi’s® to even more Brazilians.

To celebrate the occasion, here are a few fun facts about LS&Co.’s presence in Brazil through the years:  

  1. 1960s: A decade before Levi Strauss & Co. began operating in Brazil, Peace Corps workers first arrived wearing Levi’s® jeans. The youthful U.S. ambassadors to the South American country introduced Brazilians to Levi’s® blue denim copper-riveted 501® jeans and other Levi’s® products.
  2. 1977: Brazil’s first Community Involvement Teams kicked off in 1977. Over the years, Brazil employees have participated in a variety of worthy causes like donating clothing and healthcare items to orphanages or raising funds for daycare and community centers.
  3. 1979: Levi’s® were often the favored jean of young activists, as depicted in this 1979 Brazilian advertisement.
  4. 1980: LS&Co. opened a large plant in Brazil in October 1980. Bob Grohman, future LS&Co. CEO, inaugurated the plant and commented, “Our Brazilian operation has matured into a big company that is a significant segment of Levi’s® total operations. The workforce has grown from 50 employees to over 1,000.” By 1994, more than half of all Levi’s® in South America were made in Brazil.
  5. 1982: Brazil was LS&Co.’s fastest growing international market in 1982.
  6. 1990: The first Levi’s®-only retail stores opened in 1990 in locations like Belem, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro.

To mark 50 years of business in the country, the team in Brazil is launching a local campaign titled “Carregando Novas Histórias,” or “Loading New Stories.” The campaign features Brazilian influencers sharing their stories about Levi’s® products and their iconic status with all generations.

The team also mailed 501 “blue tickets,” which could be exchanged for a pair of 501® jeans, to influencers, current and former employees, vendors, partners, media and more.