25 Things About Jeans That Might Surprise You… I Was Blown Away By #22.
When tailor Jacob Davis and businessman Levi Strauss received a patent for their new style of work pants in 1873, they started a legacy. They made the first blue jean and started the world-famous brand Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco. For the next 140 years, their product evolved - and continues to evolve - in both style and meaning; it has gone from a loose fitting, durable trouser for miners to distressed and skin-tight bottoms worn by the most sought-after supermodels. In between, it was a symbol for cowboys, Hollywood, youth rebellion, and so much more.
This weekend, I plan on purchasing a few pairs of jeans for my wardrobe. Why? Because I just dove into a flurry of newspaper articles, regurgitated lists, and the highly recommended book "Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon" by James Sullivan, and was moved by what I had learned. I'm curious to see how I can make them my own.
Here, you'll find some lesser known facts about one of the greatest products and symbols of American culture - the jean.
#1. Around 1892 shortly after its patent expired, Levi Strauss and Co. decided to sew a "Guarantee Ticket" like this one to the back pocket of the jeans.
#2. Why denim? Why indigo? Denim is durable and that was important for the workers who first wore it. Indigo was a darker shade, making dirt less visible. Frequent washing wasn't always an option. It also works well with cotton, because it sits on the outside of each thread rather than penetrating it like other dyes.
Drew / DIY Vat
#3. Wholesalers H.B. Claflin & Co. used rustic marketing names such as "New Creek Blues" and "Madison River Browns" to appeal to consumers.
#4. Lee introduced the first zipper fly in the 1920s.
At the time, it was referred to as a "Whizit" - an onomatopoetic entry in a company-run contest for its release. This modification was a direct response to the many complaints of field workers who were tired of re-buttoning.
#5. Chester Reynolds, sales manager at Lee, came up with the idea of the company's mascot "Buddy Lee" in 1920.
This photo of 125 limited edition Buddy Lee dolls was taken at the Lee Archive Tour exhibit in honor of its 125th anniversary celebration.
Barbie Salvador for abs-cbnNews.com
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