Do you know who the man in the picture is? He is probably one of the most famous people in the world, and as you read this theres a good chance that you are wearing his product.
He is Levi Strauss, the creator of the Jean.
Well technically the co-inventor, he was a fabric dealer who had the sense to say yes to an idea. A tailor called Jacob Davis who was a frequent buyer from his shop said, lets make trousers together, but we’ll use copper rivets to reinforce the stress points. on May 20th 1873 they were granted one of the most valuable patents of all time for an “improvement in fastening pocket openings”.
in the years that followed Jeans became huge, but in reality they didn’t become a fashion item until the 1950’s when led by films like Rebel Without A Cause they became a must have item for people, and well from there we know what happened next.
Jeans are a staple of any wardrobe, we all have mooching about pairs, dress jeans, we have them in skinny, in boot cut, in boyfriend, and denim has moved on, its in shorts, in skirts, in shirts, in jackets, well in almost anything you can think of the humble workers trouser designed over a century ago has spread into our collective style.
The Jeans market in the US alone, is over $14 billion a year, and still growing. (Though it probably helps that they didn’t go with the name “waist overalls” in the end)
So take a moment today to spare a little thought for two men with an idea back in San Francisco that dared to dream a bit bigger than being a dry goods store owner and a cheap tailor, for these men helped shape our world.