Jeans started as a functional need for workers, now they are a symbol of fashion. With jeans the style is always evolving with new fabrics, styles, washes, cuts, and fits. You may not know jeans have been around for quite some time, 146 years to be exact. Levi jeans have been a classic denim brand for a while but you may not know the company name came from the inventor of jeans, Levi Strauss. Strauss took the material from work overalls which were already a big part of people and their work wear. He took the denim material and made it to be a more comfortable, casual, everyday wear item.
Strauss was born on February 26 1819 in Buttenheim, Bavaria. Levis father died when he was only two years old which led to him and his family immigrating to New York. When Strauss and his family arrived in the city his two older brothers open a wholesale dry goods business called “J. Strauss Brother and co.” Strauss soon learned the family business himself. Eventually the news of the California gold rush made it way to the east. So Strauss packed his bags and moved to San Francisco in 1853. Though not for the gold business but to open a wholesale store of his own. Strauss opened the store in the west coast to representative his family firm but he eventually shortened the company name to “Levi Strauss and Co.”
Around the year 1852 Strauss received a letter from one of his store customers with the idea to make denim jeans, but to use rivets at point of strains to make the pants extra strong. Strauss loved the idea so he wrote back and asked Jacob Davis to come work with him. They received a patent and on May 20th 1873 blue jeans were born. They were a hit. Levi lived out the rest of his life with good money that he would donate then to many different organizations and companies. Levi Strauss died September 26th in 1902. So next time you put on a pair of jeans look and notice the little metal pieces on the sides by the pockets and think to yourself that's what really put together the invention of jeans.
Story by Maya Fuchs