Find out how jeans conquered the world

Have you ever wondered why jeans are so popular, or where are they from? Denim trousers are part of mainstream fashion for more than a century, but who invented jeans and how now almost everybody wear denim jeans in all countries?

There are a number of questions that involve jeans’ history, being a must in your wardrobe from the age of your grandparents, no matter how old are you, but also in today’s clothes. Basically you can wear at every place and situation, and they match with all kind of clothes and accessories, but which are the milestones that made of denim jeans the most important and distinguishable trousers over the world?

Today we’re going to talk about the history of jeans: their origins, development & rise as a global phenomenon until being the cultural icon it is nowadays.

From the worker class to a fashionable item

Jeans’ origin is dated back to 1873, when a Latvian-born North American tailor, Jacob Willam Davis, employed a very strong fabric and added metallic rivets in those located places where usually trousers may break and seethe, being later associated with Levi Strauss to mass-produce them.

The very first modern pair of denim jeans was sold at California’s Nevada City Big Four store for 13 dollars. Maybe at first it didn’t look like a profitable business, but the denim look started gaining popularity between the locals and the production needed to be increased, becoming a massive success that lead the foundation of huge worldwide fashion brands such as Levi’s, considered as an emblematic tale of USA’s prosperity.

From the end of the XIX century, and noticing some huge consumer habit changes at the beginning of the XX century, Levi’s denim jeans were targeted for factory labour male workers or people that did their jobs in an open space: also cowboys, farmers and miners use them to have a better protection from inclement weather conditions, as these trousers are made with strong denim cotton fibers that have a better resilience against the abrasion and tearing. They easily become a usual clothing among western style, being accessorized with leather belts and denim suspenders as well, which become later into overalls.

Arriving into the 1930 decade, jeans have a casual and popular status among men and women in the United States. During the Second World War (1939-1945), many soldiers bring them in their battles all around Europe and Asia, which helped to gain a big fame in the old continent. 1948 is the key year when Levi Strauss & Co decide to shorten its branding to Levi’s; since then they’ve been one of the best USA fashion ambassadors worldwide.

From the landing of denim jeans in Western Europe and Eastern Asian countries, the manifested success of American denim trousers sparked the foundation of many other reputed brands all over the world that have also a well-deserved prestige in the fashion industry, such as the legendary Spanish brand Lois, or the Mexican one JL Fox: both are available now at Corbeto’s Boots and are suitable jeans for cowboy boots.


Jeans as a counterculture symbol

Denim clothes were common in Europe after the end of the Second World War, brought within the armistice by the American soldiers, but it had to be an idol of masses like Marlon Brando in his iconic ‘The Wild One’ character who influenced many youngsters to the point of create an aesthetic hype where wearing jeans and a leather jacket was considered a menace. Mentioning ‘jeans’ meant to be a revolt war cry, being these clothes banned in some schools to encourage riots against all authority.

This spark ignited into the 60’s counterculture movement that also used jeans as a dissent symbol against the American conservative values, being denim clothes so popular between the hippies and other procivil rights movements in that decade.

The offsprings of the first African American settlers also wore bibs, overalls and denim trousers to honor their enslaved ancestors, who elaborated the same clothes they were going to use later as uniforms in ranchs and factories, and to provide other Southtern landlords as well.

At the end of the eighties, the rising hip-hop culture make again jeans popular, this time against the racist profiling and arrest of the black community, wearing very wide and baggy denim trousers, as belts can’t be part of prison uniforms.

Since then and until today, jeans are possibly the most democratic clothes worldwide and are a basic garment for people of all ages and styles. One of them, of course, in which we’re specialists, is the western style, and this is why over the time we can find in the market special denim jeans with a wide leg cut, called also bootcut, specifically made to comfortably wear cowboy boots and ankle boots, like the ones we sell at Corbeto’s.

So far this is our own overview telling you the path of success of a pair of already legendary trousers: denim jeans; an icon more than a single clothing. Are you feeling also identified?


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