Have you ever wondered where the idea of jeans came from? If no, it's time for you to discover how your favorite jeans, that you wear on a daily basis, popped up into someone's mind and then materialized into denim or dungaree cloth.
Different stories claim that the motherland of jeans is America. Though partially true, it's not totally valid.
Genoa, Italy is actually the city where the story of jeans originates from. Genoa was well-known for its cotton corduroy. At that time, jean fabric from Genoa was in fact very similar to corduroy. This gave the opportunity for Genoese sailors to use jean to cover and protect their goods on the docks from the weather.
Moreover, art historians mention about an artist now named as The Master of the Blue Jeans who authored a series of genre paintings that depicts jean. This author is considered to be the one who represented the presence and importance of the blue jean much earlier than it appeared in America.
In America, blue jeans emerged and then proliferated with an incredible speed owing to one young man. This young man was Levi Strauss who emigrated from Germany to New York in 1851 to help his brothers in running a dry goods store. In 1853 Levi moved to San Francisco in order to establish his own dry goods business.
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It was 1872 when Jacob Davis wrote to Levi asking to team up and sell clothing reinforced with rivets. Davis had a great idea: use copper rivets to reinforce the points of stress, for example pocket corners and the bottoms of the button fly. As a result, in 1873 US Patent and Trademark Office granted patent #139,121 to Levi Strauss & Co. and Jacob Davis for their brilliant invention. This is how the blue jean, originally called "XX", was born in America. After the blue jean was patented, Levi's jean started to fill the markets all over the world reaching Australia and South Africa.
At the beginning, jeans were designed for factory workers and high-level of attention was given to it's durability. At this stage, men's jeans had the zipper down the front, instead the zipper of women's jeans was down the left side. By the 1960s, "gender divide" for jeans was gone and the jeans appeared with the zipper down the front. During the 1960s and 1970s jeans became more acceptable and inextricable part of the fashion world.
Interestingly, as the place where blue jeans patented and started to proliferate, America continues to be the one having the largest share (39%) of global purchases for jeans, followed by Western Europe (20%), Japan and Korea (10%) and the rest of the world (31%).