Let’s start with the history of denim. The origins of denim in the United States can be traced back to 1871 when a Russian-American Tailor by the name of Jacob Davis was asked by one of his customers to create a durable work pant and Voila! Jeans were born. Jacob used a heavy duty cotton material supplied by no other than Levi Strauss. Mr. Strauss was manufacturing this sturdy cotton material in a small southern city in France called Nîmes. It is often said that the word denim is derived from Nîmes.
Levi Strauss was a wholesale dry goods merchant when he arrived in San Francisco in 1853. But it wasn’t until two decades later, in 1872, that he partnered with Jacob Davis to create copper riveted ‘waist overalls’, often worn by the gold miners during the San Francisco Gold Rush. Before jeans became an item of clothing, denim material had mainly been used for tents and the sails of ships, but all that changed when Levi Strauss began to market this new apparel and even trademarked the now famous pocket stitching that you find on the back pockets of all Levi jeans. He also began a numbering system for new styles that is still used today.
Although Levi Strass might have been the pioneer of the Jean industry in the U.S. soon there would be a newcomer by the name of Henry David Lee. The Lee Jeans company was formed in 1889 by Henry David Lee as the HD Lee Mercantile Company in Salina, Kansas, producing dungarees and jackets. Lee took the industry to a new level by introducing advancements such as zipper flies and overalls. And as most recently as 1968, a new reiteration of the jean was started by Calvin Klein. Who can forget a young Brooke Shields in the early 1980s adorning Calvin Klein billboards all over New York City. Her Famous line, “Nothing Comes Between Me and My Calvins” made headlines and also resulted in the commercial being banned in several countries.
If you are choosing to celebrate National Denim Day, you have hundreds of different options available from cropped jeans with a cute ankle boot, to skinny jeans with a luxury sneaker or even a classic women’s oxford with a denim maxi skirt. And if you feel like dressing up, try a denim wrap dress with a pair of womens designer block heels to complete your look. Denim is one of our most favorite and versatile options in our closets, that will never go out of style.