Is there anyone who does not own a pair of jeans? Such a person would be difficult to locate. Even though he doesn’t wear them today, he used to or will persuade others to wear them. This common piece of clothing has an interesting backstory that is worth learning about.
It has not gone out of fashion for many years and comes back into style from time to time. Additionally, there are no seasonal restrictions, because every season is appropriate. If the statistics are to be believed, 6 billion denim pants are produced annually. It is a multigenerational product, and the Levi Strauss brand, next to Coca-Cola, is the most recognizable brand in the world.
It is worth remembering their history, which goes back to 1873. The duo Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis then received a patent for the production of denim pants. Davis was a tailor and started using Strauss’s denim fabric to make covers, and tents. And then there were pants, because that was the market demand, and so began their great popularity, which continues to this day. In times of the gold rush in the United States, prospectors of this ore needed durable clothing, resistant to harsh weather and physical conditions.
The same demand was from hardworking workers, miners, farmers, and others. The first jeans initially had metal press studs for anti-tearing, two front pockets, and one back pocket. Over time, the number of pockets has increased to two more, and an internal small pocket for the watch has been added. Denim has proven to be the most versatile and durable material. The very history of its creation goes back even further, to 18th-century Italy, and it was a mere coincidence.
The word “denim” so popular these days comes from Serge de Nimes’ twill fabric first woven in Nimes, France. Initially, a natural dye was used from the leaves of a semi-shrub, but it was a very expensive method and not very profitable.
Therefore, work began on obtaining an artificial dye. The German chemist Adolf von Bayer achieved success in this field in 1883. This component was much more durable and easier to produce. We also owe him the blue color of denim.
The cult model with straight legs Levi’s 501 made its debut in 1905 and to this day is an object of desire.
In 1934, the first model for women appeared – Lady Levi’s 701.
The first photo of a woman wearing jeans appeared in the American edition of “Vogue”
a year after the premiere of the 701 model
After that, American soldiers participating in the Second World War contributed to the further popularization of jeans, which they wore after leaving the service. This tendency spread very quickly among soldiers of other countries.
The 1950s were a period when young people began to wear them as an expression of rebellion against the then-binding canons and censorship, which was the guardian of morality. James Dean wore them in the iconic “Rebel Without a Cause”, Marlon Brando in the movie “Wild”, Elvis Presley during concerts. They are rebels who had a huge impact on changing morals, and above all on fashion. Young people dreamed of their pair of jeans, and since it was a product that was banned in schools and some universities, it fueled their desire to own it even more.
In the 1960s, when various pop cultures were born, the jeans model changed depending on belonging to a given group. Skinheads preferred straight-leg jeans, punks preferred skinny jeans.
In the 1970s, jeans were already very popular with the middle class in the United States and Europe. The model they chose was more classic than the baggy jeans model that skaters chose in the 90s. These were wide, baggy pants with a drop crotch.
There were also scandals with jeans in the background. In 1969, the Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani, on a poster advertising a new model of trousers, Jesus Jeans, presented them with the fly open and the inscription “You will not have someone else’s jeans in front of me”.
Hippies and rock stars in the 1970s were disapproved of by the wearing of flared jeans with various appliqués.
Andy Warhol wore them in a set with a checkered shirt, tie and a university blazer.
Jeans also hit the catwalks thanks to Calvin Klein.
Nowadays, almost every fashion house launches its own line, changing only styles and details. As you can see, the history of jeans does not end there, their phenomenon continues and nothing foreshadows its end.
Of course, pants are the most important element, but denim is also other wardrobe items that we like to wear. Shirts and jackets can be perfectly combined with other outfits from our wardrobe and used on many occasions.
A dozen or so years ago, Levi’s jeans from 1880 were discovered in a defunct mine in the Mojave Desert. They were put up for auction on the Internet and achieved a price higher than the original one by 46 thousand times.
So maybe it’s worth keeping your favorite model.