Saturday, 7 July 2007

LEVI STRAUSS and the Blue Jeans

The company and the world famous "blue jeans" traces its origin to Levi Strauss (1829–1902), a Bavarian immigrant who sold dry goods to miners during the California gold rush in the late 1800's. Hearing of the miners' need for durable trousers, he hired a tailor, Jacob Davis, to make garments out of tent canvas, later substituting denim (a cotton cloth from France called "serge de Nimes," which became known as denim). On May 20, 1873, the two men received patent #139,121 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. We consider that day to be the official "birthday" of blue jeans. The company's most spectacular growth occurred after 1946, with the decision to concentrate wholly on manufacturing clothing under its own label. In 1959 it began exporting, and during the 1960's Levi's jeans became enormously popular worldwide. The company went public in 1971 and was returned to private control (by Strauss's descendants) in 1985.

Jeans - where does the name come from?

The word jeans comes from a kind of material that was made in Europe.
The material, called jean, was named after sailors from Genoa in Italy,
because they wore clothes made from it. The earliest cite is from 1495. The modern spelling has existed since at least 1622.

History and evolution of Jeans

The 1930's: westerns
- cowboys - who often wore jeans in the movies-became very popular.
The 1950's: rebels
- ìn the 1950's, denim became popular with young people. ìt was the
symbol of the teenage rebel in tv programmes and movies
The 1960-70's: hippies and the cold war
- different styles of jeans were made, to match the 60's fashions. In many non-western countries, jeans became a symbol of ' western decadence' and were very hard to get.
The 1980's: designer jeans
- in the 1980's jeans became high fashion clothing, when famous
designers started making their own styles of jeans, with their own labels on them.
sales of jeans went up and up.
The 1990's: recession
- although denim is never completely out of style, it certainly goes out of
'fashion' from time to time

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