My TikTok For You Page is never without inspirational fashion content, and lately, DIY videos are piquing my interest the most. Take the six TikTok creators below, who were each challenged to personalize the new Levi’s® 501® ’90s jeans in five minutes and one second based on their unique craft and fashion aesthetic. The jeans are inspired by everyone’s favorite 501® Originals but feature a relaxed, vintage fit. Levi’s® are known for being the ultimate blank canvas for self-expression, and let’s just say these creators’ customizations prove that sentiment to be true. The final results from these talented women are seriously cool and unique. Whether or not they all stuck to the time limit is a different story. (But we’ll let that slide!)
Yolanda Espericueta is an expert thrifter, so it’s no surprise that she gravitates toward the vintage-inspired fit of the 501® ’90s jeans. “I started my TikTok to share my thrift finds,” she explains. “I wanted to show people how to dress well on a budget because growing up, I wanted to be fashionable, but I didn’t have the means to.”
Espericueta took up sewing a couple of years ago in order to customize the fit and style of her thrifted pieces, and now she regularly alters her clothing with personal touches. Her new Levi’s® denim was no exception. “I chose to add a leopard-print, faux-fur trim to the jeans because I thought it would add a bold touch and give them that funky element that I try to incorporate into my everyday outfits,” she says. “The waist sits right where I like it to, and the legs have this slouchy look that definitely reminds me of a ’90s supermodel off-duty look.” Espericueta also channeled the ’90s vibe with the rest of her outfit by styling the denim with chunky platform boots, a crop top, and a claw-clip updo.
Grace Xu may be known for her crocheting skills on TikTok, but lately, she’s also been dabbling in embroidery. She tells me that other creators have inspired her to stitch her own slightly imperfect doodles. “I really wanted to preserve the fit of the 501® ’90s, so I decided to go in with some freehand embroidery just to make them my own,” she says.
Xu kept the rest of her outfit simple to let the denim take center stage. “I definitely see myself leaning into the fun colors of the embroidery and styling these jeans in a more maximalist outfit later down the road, but I think there’s something about the tiny-top-and-loose-jeans combo that makes for the ultimate cool-girl uniform,” she says.
Like many others, Genai Nakama started her TikTok as a fun, creative outlet. “It was amazing to fall into my niche and find other creators and TikTok users that made me feel seen and were able to offer that same visibility I was seeking,” she explains.
As for her denim, Nakama was inspired by Los Angeles, where she grew up. “Walking down the street, riding on the bus, and even looking at my dad—someone was always wearing a crisp pair of Levi’s®,” she reminisces. “I wanted to pay homage to the relationship between my city and Levi’s® by painting ‘Los Angeles’ across the front. It’s simple but effective,” she says.
I’ve been following Madeline Ronzoni on TikTok for months. She creates these incredible, colorful rugs in all sorts of unique shapes. (I have my eye on this flower rug.) Recently, she’s taken her skills beyond rugs, using tufting to create handbags and patches for denim, too.
Since Valentine’s Day is approaching, Ronzoni was inspired to create red and pink tufted hearts and secure them onto her denim (with a matching heart-shaped handbag, of course). The hearts on the back pockets are seriously cute. As for the actual jeans, Ronzoni says, “I love this pair of 501® ’90s from Levi’s® because of the relaxed, laid-back fit that still has a classic and fashionable look.” I couldn’t agree more.
Kelsey Kotzur’s mindset about fashion is so refreshing. “You can’t tell me I’m not the most badass woman on the planet when I am in an outfit that I know is fierce,” she says of her approach. “I love to use clothing to elevate my mood and make it look like I have everything figured out. (Spoiler alert: I don’t.)”
Kotzur is a denim girl through and through. “Denim is my number one wardrobe staple, and these are loose and comfortable and have that slouchy effortless vibe,” she says. For this project, she re-created an epic denim look worn by Hailey Bieber at the VMAs. “I bought a glue gun and 400 green feathers and went crazy. I didn’t have a pattern I was following. I just wanted the jeans to be covered in green,” she says of her process.
Nandi Perry’s style is eclectic, edgy, and a bit “hodgepodge,” in her words. “I love that fashion gives me a way to express myself without having to say a word,” she tells me. Perry styles a ton of unique denim outfits on TikTok, so I was eager to see her customized 501® ’90s.
Perry chose to bedazzle the front pockets, cut the bottoms to create a raw hem, and embroider a quote that is personal to her, Til death we do art, on either side. “These customizations just feel like a true representation of myself, and there is nothing more I desire than to have the ability to make art for the rest of my life,” she explains. As for the actual jeans, Perry says she loves this pair because “they’re so comfortable, and I’m able to move around in them, which is something I always appreciate in a good pair of jeans.”
SHOP LEVI’S® 501® JEANS
The 501® ’90s Original jeans come in three unique washes but I’m partial to this classic, darker wash. Maybe it’s the Millennial in me.
Most of the content creators chose this medium wash called “Drew Me In.”
More of a dark wash fan? Don’t fret—the 501® ’90s comes in this faded black shade too.
A classic that looks good with any top.
A fresh white pair of jeans is perfect for spring.
I love the cropped length of this pair.
Light-wash skinny jeans are an essential part of my denim collection.
The dark wash is so sophisticated.
Looking for more of the iconic style? Right this way.