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Friday, 30 September 2011

of the last centuries: the 18th century
in the eighteenth century as trade, slave labour,
and cotton plantations increased, workers wore jean cloth
because the material was very strong and it did not wear out easily.

the 19th century: the california gold rush
the gold miners wanted clothes that were strong and did not
tear easily. in 1853, leob strauss started a wholesale business,
supplying clothes. strauss later changed his name from leob to levi.

the 1930’s: westerns
cowboys – who often wore jeans in the movies-became very popular.

the 1940’s: war
fewer jeans were made during the time of world war 2,
but they were introduced to the world by american soldiers,
who sometimes wore them when they were off duty. after the war,
rival companies, like wrangler and lee, began to compete with
levi for a share of the international market.

the 1950’s: rebels
ìn the 1950’s, denim became popular with young people.
it was the symbol of the teenage rebel in TV shows
and movies (james dean in the 1955 movie rebel without a cause).
some schools in the USA banned students from wearing denim.

the 1960-70’s: hippies & the cold war
different styles of jeans were made, to match the 60’s fashions:
embroidered jeans, painted jeans, psychedelic jeans…
in many non-western countries, jeans became a symbol of
’ western decadence’ and were very hard to get.

the 1980’s: designer jeans
in the 1980’s jeans became high fashion clothing, when famous
designers started making their own styles of jeans, with their
own labels on them. sales of jeans went up and up.

the 1990’s: recession
although denim is never completely out of style, it certainly goes
out of ‘fashion’ from time to time. in these years the youth market
wasn’t particularly interested in 501s and other traditional
jeans styles, mainly because their parents: the’ generation born
in blue’ were still busy squeezing their aging bodies into them.
since no teenager would be caught dead in anything their parents
are wearing, the latest generation of rebellious youth turned to
other fabrics and other styles of casual pants, such as khakis,
chinos, combat and carpenters and branded sportswear pants.
they still wore denim, but it had to be in different finishes,
new cuts, shapes, styles, or in the form of aged, authentic,
vintage jeans, discovered in markets, secondhand- and thrift shops,
not conventional jeans stores. levi strauss & co., the number-one
producer of jeans and the “single most potent symbol of american
style on planet earth” (as the los angeles times succinctly put it),
is in trouble. eleven north american factories close, a nation grieves.

2000: reinventing denim
something decidedly weird is happening in the world of denim.
the products need to be reinvented from time to time and jeans
has been back on designers catwalks, at chanel, dior, chloe
and versace. the single most potent symbol of fashion, summer ‘99
tom ford’s feathered, beaded, beat-up, torn-knee gucci blue jeans,
seen globally, sell out instantaneously at $3715 a pop.
and then, on the internet, was the shining image of helmut lang’s
silver-sprayed pants, striding out beyond our conception of
basic utility. freed of all social and creative restrictions, denim is
assuming any number of disguises and contexts to be worn in
and has broken through almost any limitation on price.
it can also be found in home collections, appearing in cushions,
bed spreads and furniture-coverings.
Here’s a few of our favourites: