Ultimate Denim Collection – The Jeans Museum

Ultimate Denim Collection - The Denim Museum

Ultimate Denim Collection – The Denim Museum

Started in 1973 by Ruedi Karrer in the Swiss mountains, The Jeans Museum first opened the door to its Zurich location in 2001. The Jeans Museum encourage all denim heads to use their raw denim stuff as long as possible, and suggests that they never throw them away.  Over 12’000 beloved denim items have found a safe place to survive for ever in a real-life exhibit, instead of an online-only medium.

At the end of the 1960s, the Karrer family of 12 received two Levi’s pants from the 50s out from a cloth donation parcel. One of their sons, Ruedi, got quickly hooked on raw denim, an obsession that has continued ever since. As he tells it, “Corduroy pants simply weren’t interesting after that.”

Ultimate Denim Collection - The Jeans Museum
Ruedi Karrer, founder of The Jeans Museum
The Ultimate Denim Collection - The Jeans Museum

The first two Levis pants worn by the Karrer brothers 1970-1975.

Ultimate Denim Collection - The Jeans Museum

Personal items worn by Ruedi Karrer from 1975 until 2010.

The Jeans Museum displays the high potential of denim evolution in many jeans and denim jackets from the 50’s up to current pieces. Although the main items are heavily-worn raw denim items with extreme fades, all manner of denim goods are welcome in the brand-independent museum. As of this year, The Jeans Museum has expanded their location, allowing it even more room to display more pieces.

The history and production of denim is well documented on the internet and in the brand headquarters of Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler. So the main topics at the museum are about vintage items from 1950 until 1980, heavy weight denim, raw denim, heavily-used denim rags, serial fadings, and customized items.

Ultimate Denim Collection - The Jeans Museum

Well loved Nudie Jeans donated by a Canadian denim head hanging in the showroom.

Ultimate Denim Collection - The Jeans Museum

There are many boxes of jeans waiting to be displayed.

Ultimate Denim Collection - The Jeans Museum

A customized Levi’s jacket on display.

Aside their extensive inventory, The Jeans Museum is currently working on an exhibition for the new showaroom as well as a new English-language website. There are also plans for an organisation, the membership fees for which will be the main source of funding for the expansion of the museum.

With the goal of rescuing as many as possible beloved denim articles from the garbage or rag bin, The Jeans Museum hopes to keep the spirit of raw denim alive forever.  Any and all visitors are welcome, and Ruedi is always gracious for donations of both denim and funding. For more information feel free to check out their website or send them an e-mail.


Ruedi began collecting raw denim in 1973 and formally opened the Jeansmuseum in Zurich in 2002 to hold his entire collection. When he's not fixated on raw denim, he works as a geographer and is passionate about nature, mountains, jogging, and skiing.

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  • midreal

    I’m always skeeved out by the fact that this is a collection built by a European dude showing up in evo threads asking guys for their used pants

  • Sinaloacow

    Denim museum? On the article i read the collection start from 50s to 80s..with all respect and only in my opinion, a true museum need rare pieces of history, possibly from 20s to our days.

    • swissjeansfreak

      Yeah, I agree that there should be a better name. Perhaps “Jeansmuseum of heaviest fadings”? But it’s a very long title

  • Suss

    “Museum” might not be the best term but it’s cool as hell so who cares

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  • Ruedi Karrer

    The main topic of this Brand independant Jeans Museum is about showing the visitors the full power of denim evolution on many items and on different brands

    For real historic pieces there are well equipped brand museums like the Levis archiv
    There was never the intention to compete with such archives

    But I agree, that perhaps another name for this museum could work better
    Any suggestions are welcome

    • Denimdart

      How about the Denim Depository?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/arie.vandenberg.39 Arie van den Berg

    When I am in Zurich, I really should visit this museum loaded with denim-treasures.

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