Into the Blue
by Juliette de Vries
In celebration of the launch of our new Dark Denim Slingback, we wanted to take a look at denim and its history. Like all fashion trends, denim on denim has been making a real comeback lately; flip through a magazine or scroll through your Instagram feed and you’re likely to see a double denim look or a pair of denim patched jeans. Why does this trend look so familiar you may ask? Well, think back to 2001; American Music Awards; one of the hottest couples at the time; former flames Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake gave us one of the most memorable red carpet looks of all time with their matching denim looks.
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake at AMA (2001) and Brooke Shields Calvin Klein ad (1980)
Speaking of another memorable denim moment, who remembers 15-year old Brooke Shields in that infamous Calvin Klein ad, uttering those now well-known words “Do you know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” To say this ad caused a bit of an uproar in the States is an understatement.. but definitely worth mentioning when it comes to memorable denim moments.
Looking at the history of denim, will take you all the way back to the 18th century: the word “denim” originated from the fabric "serge de Nimes" made in the French city of Nimes. Denim was first used for clothes worn by gold miners, whom needed strong clothes that wouldn’t tear. Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis supplied them with denim pants reinforced with rivets at the places where pants would tend to tear. The rest is pretty much history as Levi jeans are a household name in the world of denim.
It wasn’t until the 1930s though, that jeans become widely popular; influenced by Hollywood cowboy movies in which actors wore jeans. With the beginning of the World War 2, production of the jeans did drop, but it rose again with American soldiers wearing jeans while they were on leave. When the war ended, other companies that made denim started appearing like Wrangler and Lee.
James Dean Rebel Without a Cause (1953) and Ralph Lauren
Young people started wearing denim in the 1950s as means of rebellion. This fashion was also inspired by Hollywood with Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953) and James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Some public places like schools and theaters actually banned jeans because of what they symbolized. Denim crossed from counterculture to fashion in the 1960s and 1970s and many denim looks were introduced, such as the Canadian tuxedo, with Ralph Lauren being its biggest fan.
Denim patch street style
Circling back to the 21 century, denim is still as popular as ever, which is why at FERAGGIO we could not leave out a “denim pump”. We just love how the denim heel instantly ads a level of edginess and coolness to your looks, while still remaining classy. Our dark denim slingback is perfect for the indian summer we are about to go in; wear with a pair of jeans and crisp white shirt and you’re ready to go! Or, if you feel inspired by this blog, create your own Canadian tuxedo like Mr. Lauren himself.
Dark Denim Sling
Can’t get enough of jeans? We rounded up some fun facts for you!
Fun facts about jeans (you have always wanted to know)
- The orange thread that Levi Strauss & Co. uses for the stitching of jeans is trademarked. It is used as a distinguishable feature and to match the color of copper rivets.
- Rivets (silver/gold flat bolt) are used on jeans to make them stronger, especially on pockets. In the beginning, Levi Strauss & Co. Placed rivets on all pockets, front, and back but people complained that rivets on the back pockets scratched saddles and chairs so at first, they covered them and then removed them altogether from the back
- Making of one pair of Levi 501s requires 37 separate sewing operations.
- The oldest known pair of Levi's jeans were found in 1997 and was 100 years old.
- The first jeans came in two styles, indigo blue, and brown cotton "duck."
- The first name for jeans was "waist overalls."
- The first label ever to be attached to a piece of a garment was a red flag that was sewed next to the back pocket of Levi Strauss’ jeans.
- Jeans were first colored with indigo because darker color better hides the dirt.
- In a time when the jeans were worn by factory workers, jeans for men had zippers on the front, but jeans for women had zippers on the side.
- A boutique in the New York East Village called “Limbo” was the first retailer to wash a new pair of jeans to get a used, worn effect. It became a new fashion hit.
- Twenty thousand tons of indigo are produced annually for dyeing of jeans.
- Name 'denim' comes from the name of a sturdy fabric called serge, initially made in Nîmes, France.
- From one bale of cotton, around 225 pairs of jeans can be made.
- Statistically, every American owns, on average, seven pairs of blue jeans.
- For a birthday of blue jeans is considered May 20, 1873, a date when Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss and Co. obtained a patent for blue jeans.
- Blue jeans were banned at certain places like schools, theaters, and restaurants in the ‘50s because they were seen as a form of rebellion against conformism.
- Over 50% of denim is produced in Asia, specifically China, India, and Bangladesh.
- To eliminate the shrinkage, most of the denim fabric is washed in water after coloring.
- Indigo that is used for the coloring of denim for jeans is a very old color that was made from plants but now is synthetically made.
- Stretch denim is a type of denim that is used for skinny jeans. It is not made from pure cotton, but it has an elastic component such as elastane.
- Only a few grams of the indigo is required for the coloring of each pair of blue jeans.
- Approximately 450 million pairs of jeans are sold in the United States every year.
- Blue jeans became popular for the first time outside of the United States, thanks to American Soldiers in World War II who wore jeans when they were off-duty.