In 1951, the world famous American crooner Bing Crosby was denied entrance into a Canadian hotel because he and his friend were dressed completely in denim. Although the Hotel management eventually recognized Bing and made an exception because of who he was, the story of the incident traveled fast. Friends of his back home contacted Levi Strauss and Co. and the designers immediately developed a custom denim tuxedo jacket for Bing so that he would never have problems wearing Levi’s® Jeans, even in fancy establishments.
It was made of the sturdy denim used for 501® Jeans, and decorated with a lovely corsage of Red Tabs, held onto the lapel with a cluster of shiny copper rivets.
Inside the jacket was a huge leather patch printed with a “Notice to All Hotel Men” stating that denim is a
perfectly appropriate fabric and anyone wearing it should be allowed entrance into the finest hotels.
LS&Co presented the jacket to Bing at the 1951 Silver State Stampede in Elko, Nevada where he was honorary mayor. He was so tickled with the tux that he wore it to many press appearances for his next film, “Here Comes the Groom.” The original jacket, as well as one made for the town’s mayor, is in the Northeastern Nevada Museum in Elko.
For Spring Summer 2014, Levi’s® Vintage Clothing is reproducing this famous piece of Levi’s® history and making a limited run of 200 jackets. All of the details are true to the original.
1951 Bing Crosby Tuxedo
1940’S 501© Jean Denim
Reproduction of the1951 Bing Crosby Tuxedo Jacket
100% cotton double-breasted denim tuxedo
Three welt pockets, two at hips
Inside shoulders are lined with satin
Archival Bing Rosette
Levi’s® Red Tabs and Copper Rivets
Rosette mode of Red Tabs Attached
to the lapel
Archival Interior Patch
Bing Leather Patch
Reproduction Leather Patch
Large leather patch inside the tuxedo
with a “Notice to Men Everywhere”