Fashion Icons: Levi Strauss

02 Jul


While selling goods during the late-1800s gold rush in California, Levi  Strauss happened upon a gold rush of his own. After gaining a reputation as a  savvy businessman, tailor Jacob Davis, a frequent client, proposed a joint  venture. He often bought Strauss’s canvas fabric to repair miners’ torn pants,  and had hatched a clever plan to reinforce the rips with copper rivets. Strauss  agreed to help Davis patent the work clothing, and in 1873 the pair began  manufacturing the much-loved pants. A switch  to lightweight denim, a cotton fabric dyed with indigo and originally  produced in France, helped cement “those pants of Levi’s” as a household name.

The reputation of Levi’s jeans lived on long after Strauss’s death as the  image of the Wild, Wild West took its place in American lore. Cowboys wearing  Levi’s gave the brand a rugged spirit of individualism. Casual and accessible,  denim jeans were embraced by American youth as a symbol of rebellion. Within  decades, fashion  designers couldn’t ignore the immense influence of jeans, frequently  slotting the blue bottoms into fashion lineups the world over. Strauss was  influential in popularizing the denim craze that only continues to rush  forward.


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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Fashion Icons


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