“Levi’s 501s the “Fashion Item of the 20th Century.” Time magazine”
May the 20th 2018 marks the 145th anniversary of the official birth of jeans, or blue jeans as they call them in the good old US of A, for on that day back in 1873 Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received patent #139,121 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for riveted pants. From humble workwear to a 100 Billion dollar industry jeans have withstood the wear and tear of time to be considered a true fashion icon.
So how did we get a world where you can’t walk down the street without seeing someone wearing jeans?
Blame, or perhaps if like myself you love Denim thank, movie stars. From John Wayne wearing 501’s in Stagecoach, through Brandos’s The Wild One, to Marilyn in River of No Return jeans became synonymous with cool. That said it took the original bad boy James Dean who wore specially dip-dyed Levi 101 Riders together with a T-shirt, and a leather jacket, and jeans, in 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause to help turn them into “jeans” as until the late 50’s they were called “waist overalls” or “overalls”.
- Jeans are cool: fact. It doesn’t matter whether you’re into Bing Crosby, The Rolling Stones or Nirvana, John Wayne, James Dean, or Bradley Cooper you’ll find the superstars of the day wearing jeans.
- 100 Billion Dollars – no longer just Dr Evil’s demand, this is the current value of jean sales worldwide. And they’re forecast to grow to over 120 billion by 2021 literally making them the most popular apparel on earth.
- Denim on Denim – for some it should be illegal. For mine 1967 Paul Newman: denim-on-denim. Enough said.
- Jeans for everyone – from $5 to $1500 no matter your budget you can find jeans to fit
- Random Fact: Most people gravitate to the styles that were popular when they were teenagers. So whilst that doesn’t mean you’ll continue to dress as a goth, it does mean that jeans are here to stay for the foreseeable. Why? Baby boomers see blue jeans and instinctively think – that’s what cool people wear.
- The Field of Jeans – Levi’s Stadium opened in 2014 as the new home of the San Francisco 49ers. Given Davis and Strauss founded Levi’s in San Francisco during the gold rush that marks jeans coming full circle (as one writer said at the time literally from gold rush to pass rush).
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Awesome Images – Jeans
Original Levis Ad
Photo: Levi Strauss & Co
Brando – The Wild One
Main Photo: Fortune Magazine