A look at the iconic blue jeans

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — History of Jeans:

1873: Businessman Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis invent the first pair of jeans after getting a patent to create cotton-denim workpants with copper rivets in certain areas like the pocket corner to make them stronger.

1920s: Levi's overalls become the best-selling product in men's work pants in the Western states. In 1928, the company registers the Levi's name as a trademark.

1934: Levi's takes advantage of the rise in Western movies and launches its first pair of what we call jeans. They were aimed at affluent women who wanted to wear them on dude ranches.

1950s: The pants move into the mainstream, helped by teens who embrace them as a rebellious statement. Teens start calling them 'jeans.' Until this decade, they were called overalls or waist overalls. Jeans take on a bad boy image, popularized by teen rebels like James Dean and Marlon Brando.

1960s to early 1970s: Levi's replaces the word "overalls" with the word "jeans" in advertising and packaging. The hip-hugger, bellbottom blue jeans become an anti-establishment statement.

Mid 1970s to early 1980s: In the mid-1970s, blue jeans are trumped by the popularity of colored corduroy pants. In the late 1970s, jeans become a status symbol when designers like Jordache and Calvin Klein roll out more chic versions.

Mid 1980s to 1990s: Hip hop-inspired baggy jeans become the rage. The relaxation of dress codes in the 1990s made jeans more acceptable for work.

2000 -2006: An influx of new brands that sell for $200 or higher help fuel jeans sales.

2006 to present: The rise of skinny jeans and brightly colored jeans help boost sales until athletic wear gains popularity.


Source: Levi Strauss & Co. corporate website.