The word ‘jeans’ comes from the French phrase ‘bleu de Genes’ meaning ‘the blue of Genoa’. The denim fabric originated in the French town of Nimes and owes its name to the location, which was quickly known as ‘denim’ abroad.
Spunky Genoese Navy sailors first strutted around in denim back in the 1500’s but it wasn’t until the 1870’s in the gold rush boom that denim took off. This was when Levi Strauss – a name now synonymous with denim - created a strong style of workers pants with rivets that was quickly adopted by Californian coal miners. Originally made from uncomfortable hemp, Strauss eventually discovered and started using the twilled cotton cloth that originated from the French town of Nimes and denim, as we know it, was born.
For a long time, it was largely worn by workers but become popular in American Pop Culture when jeans became symbolic of protest against conformity. Worn by teenagers and young adults they were often refused admission to movies, restaurants and other everyday haunts when wearing them. But the trend grew and during the 1960’s wearing blue jeans become more acceptable and by the 1970’s they were truly established as a fashion trend. The 80’s brought with it “designer jeans” and denim took to the catwalks.
Today jeans are a staple of everybody’s wardrobe and often a key element in seasonal trends and fashion around the world. Each season brings with it new cuts, features, treatments and embellishments.