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Denim’s Debut: The History Of The Pants That Revolutionized Rock N’ Roll, Labor Work, Counterculture, And High Fashion Alike

Galina Zhigalova - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

The word “jean” first debuted during the 1800s and referred to a twill cotton cloth that was commonly used for trousers.

Since then, the blue jeans that we now call “denim” have uniquely penetrated nearly every sector of society– from rock stars and high fashion models to miners, cowboys, and counterculture movers.

The classic indigo-dyed denim that most people know and love today was actually created and patented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873.

Davis was a tailor, and Strauss owned a wholesale fabric house– making the pair a dynamic duo equipped to take over an emerging fashion movement.

Nonetheless, the pants were first appreciated by labor workers the most. The copper rivet reinforced pockets made the denim an extremely durable and functional work pant among miners, farmers, and more.

Then, in the 1920s and 1930s, Hollywood films starring the likes of Gary Cooper and John Wayne began to romanticize blue jeans.

The handsome cowboys donned stetsons, fringed jackets, and, of course, tailored denim pants.

Seeing the jeans in this new spotlight lit a fire amongst consumers across the nation– turning blue jeans into the latest casual wear for weekenders.

By 1930, Vogue granted their fashion stamp of approval by regarding jeans as “western chic,” and in 1942, legendary designer Claire McCardell sold over seventy-five thousand units of her popular denim dress.

Galina Zhigalova – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

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