Levis Red Tag Doesn’t Say Levi’s? (Possible Issues)

Levis is a reputable clothing brand. However, depending on the year and model, you can find it at a very high price on the market.

Unfortunately, the clothes are repackaged as real and sold to clueless customers. So no matter who you buy your Levis clothing from, ensure you check for the tag to ensure it’s authentic. 

Not all Levis jeans have “Levis” on the tag because only “R,” the registered trademark symbol, was inscribed during production. All tags with just “Levis” or just “R” have been trademarked and added to make Levi’s brand more unique. So, if someone copies the tag, it’ll be easy to sue the person. 

Why Does My Levis Not Say Levis on the Red Tag?      

Levis Red Tag Doesn't Say Levi’s

In 1890, the Levis’ patent expired, and its competitors like the Boss of the Road began manufacturing denim jeans.

The stitching on the pocket looked quite similar to Levi’s, and the jeans’ waistband was all blue. Many brands have copied the red tags and now attach them to fake jeans. 

Due to this irregular similarity, Levis’ sales manager initiated the idea of attaching a red tag to the back pocket of its jeans.

In 1936, the Levis red tag was patented and had become one of the most notable features of every pair of Levis jeans.

Unfortunately, many brands like the Samurai, Canes, and Geisha have copied the tag.

It has become so prevalent that Levis’ management has hired detectives in different parts of the world to find those who sell the fake jeans and cut off the red tags.

Levis has two tabs. The first is the ‘capital E’ tab, used from 1936 to 1971. In 1971, Levis changed the letters from capital (as in LEVIS) to small (as in Levis).

Denim dealers were always very excited to get original Levis Jeans with the ‘capital E.’

In this era, the back pocket tab had different colors besides the popular Levis red tag. They were – black, white, and orange.

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Levis’ white tab was for girls’ jeans (except the corduroy), the orange tab was for fashion jeans, and the black tab was for jeans that had gone through the ‘STA-PREST’ process.

Currently, Levis uses the ‘small e’ on its products. So, if your Levis does not say Levis (as in the ‘small e) on your red tag, it’s counterfeit.

How Can You Tell If Levis Is Fake?   

It’s straightforward! You won’t get scammed if you know what exactly you’re looking for when buying Levis jeans.

Below are some signs that the pair of Levis jeans are fake.

#1. The Tab on the Back Pocket is Missing 

The jeans are fake Levis; there’s no tab on the back pocket (right). However, all original Levis Jeans have red tags and the Levis logo.

The tag doesn’t have to be red. It can be black, white, orange, or even white.

Also, if the pair of Levis jeans are fake, the ‘e’ in Levis will be uppercase. The jeans were manufactured after 1971 and still have a ‘capital E’ tag, but it’s not original.

The brand made its only tags with ‘capital E’ before 1971. Every other one after that time is in lower cases.

#2. There Is Only an “R” (Registered Trademark) on the Tag

Only a few original Levis jeans don’t have the word ‘Levis’ but have the trademark “R” showing that it is registered.

The reason is the machine’s ribbon that does the stitching of the label needs to be changed at intervals to allow only the “R” to be on the tag.

So, if you get Levis jeans with just the “R,” check if other obvious signs show that it is counterfeit. 

#3. The Leather Patch On the Back Has Faded or Has a Different Color

Levis is a high-end brand. All their products are top-notch and of high quality. In all Levis jeans, the leather patch has strong quality and maintains its color for many years.

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Therefore, an original leather patch will not fade. It can only lose its color and fade when it is fake.

However, if your Levis is brand new, it won’t be easily possible to know if it’s fake by just looking at the leather patch.

You’ll only start noticing the bad leather patch after you have worn and washed it for some time. Notwithstanding, ensure you’re always very observant.

#4. The Stitching Around the Tab is Inconsistent or Messy

Another way to spot fake Levis is by checking the stitch patterns. For example, if you notice that stitching around the tag of the jean is loose or inconsistent, then there’s a high probability that it’s not authentic. 

It’s typical for these fake brands to cut off the tag from the original Levis jeans and stitch it to the fake ones.  

#5. Rivet Stamps Without the Levis’ Logo

Levi stamps its logo, “L.S. & CO. S.F.,” on every pair of jeans manufactured. The full meaning of the logo is Levi Strauss & Co., San Francisco.

Scammers. The fake brands will not be able to pass through the hassles of sourcing for or manufacturing Levi’s rivets.

They’ll rather use rivet stamps without the logo. So, if you don’t see the letters on the rivets, that’s a sign that it’s fake.

Also, Levis calls the stitch pattern (where two arches intersect at the center to form a diamond) on the back pocket of their jeans “Arcuate. ” If there is no diamond shape around the stitch pattern of the jeans, it’s most likely fake.

Original Levis JeansFake Levis Jeans
Clean stitches on the pocketInconsistent and messy stitches 
Good quality material Poor quality with excessive wear
The correct number on the back of the copper buttonThe wrong number on the back of the button

Can I Return Levis Jeans Without Tags?

Yes, you can. But, the jeans must be unworn and unwashed. Most importantly, you must have the card or receipt you used to pay for the jeans.

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In some cases, it’s advisable first to send a mail requesting to return an item. Also, you must return the jeans within 30 days of purchase.

Ensure that the jeans are still in their original condition without any tear, wear, or alterations.

Red Tag with R Only Not Word Levis ‘levis’

It’s normal that in one out of 10 pairs of jeans, they’ll be only the “R” trademark symbol, not “Levis.” However, it doesn’t imply that the jeans are fake.

Levis has different trademarks for its Tabs. Some have Tabs with “Levis®” written on them, and others have tabs without the word “Levis®” on them. The one without an inscription is the “blank” tab. 

Levis registered the blank tab to protect it against imitators who use a similar tab on their products but inscribe a different name on it and claim ownership because of the name on it.

So, there are no issues if the jeans have a blank red tag.

How Do I Identify My Levi’s Label?

Levi assigns numbers to all their products. You’ll need to check the label on the back of the jeans’ waistband to find the number for a particular product.

You’ll see the symbol of two horses pulling a pair of jeans on the label, the “Levis” name, and the trademark symbol. 

If the label has faded, check for the style number on the jeans’ tag. The red tab is a faster way to identify your Levis Label and spot fake Levis.

Final Words 

Unfortunately, some brands prefer to copy more successful companies rather than become creative and invent excellent products.

To avoid being a victim of circumstance, make sure to confirm whether the jeans you’re about to purchase are authentic or not. If it’s fake, you’ll be spending money on poor-quality material.

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  1. Hi Ian,
    just pointing out a mistake on topis #2
    #2. There Is Only an “R” (Registered Trademark) on the Tag
    The explanation you described is not correct, here is a way of explaining with the real reason.

    For safety reasons, 10% of all levi’s® worldwide production displays only the “® symbol” on red tab, in random batches, to prevent counterfeiting.
    In this way, the company protects the exclusive legal right to market clothing with Red Tab and demonstrates that it has trademark rights in relation to the label itself, not just the Levi’s trademark®.

    This also provide some kind of warranty of not being counterfeit since the ones producing the false pair of pants wouldnt want to use a rare kind of red tab as the reason they do it is to manage to sell it, so they obvioulsy would fake the most popular one….


      1. This was very informative as I just bought a pair of classic bootcut Levi’s from Macy’s and the red tag only has the R That is why I started researching to find out why

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