12. They were coveted so much, in fact, that people used to barter with Levi's like currency in the Eastern Bloc.
Eventually when tensions rose so high that the Soviet Union cut itself off from American culture, a pair of authentic Levi's was quite valuable — and people used to travel to the Eastern Bloc and use a pair in place of money.
Special thanks to Levi Strauss & Co and Lynn Downey for their help.
Ethan Wolff-Mann is the Gear editor for Supercompressor. He is currently wearing black Levi 501 jeans, size 32-34. Keep track of what he's wearing by following him on Twitter @ewolffmann.