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The history of Levi Strauss & Co.

January 22, 2022 8:42 PM
The history of Levi Strauss & Co.

Everyone of us has seen them or worn them. You don't know what we're talking about? We're talking about a pair of jeans from the brand Levi Strauss & Co, better known as Levi's. The brand was founded in 1853., but let's take a closer look at Levi's together today and take a whole step back to the origins of the unique and revolutionary brand.

I bet you didn't know these facts yet. Let's go!


The start of the Levi Strauss & Co. Jeans

In the middle of the 19th century, the so-called gold rush broke out in America. Hundreds of thousands of people packed their bags and emigrated to the USA in anticipation of the riches that could be found in the form of gold.

Levi Strauss, originally from Germany, also sensed a business opportunity. All these immigrant workers now had to be equipped with sensible and, above all, work-appropriate clothes.

In San Francisco, the young Strauss met the tailor Jacob Davis to implement the business model of the invented studded trousers. Since many of the competitors at the time of the gold rush wanted to copy them, Strauss and Davis applied for a patent on the trousers in 1873.

Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss & Co.

The patent cost them the equivalent of 68 dollars, which was a lot of money for ordinary people at the time. But now the doors were open for their invention.

After the two made their first trousers from canvas, they finally turned to the robust denim fabric made from cotton. The denim fabric, which is actually white by nature and received its famous deep blue colouring from the leaves of the indigo plant. This revolutionised the trousers known until then!

However, Levi Strauss and the tailor Jacob Davis called their invention, which is still known worldwide today, hip overalls and not jeans, under which name we all know the trousers today. Initially used for practical work, the studded trousers were soon used by many people as casual trousers for everyday wear.

More about Levi's history >>

Levi Strauss & Co.
Images: Levi's

The jeans revolution

When famous celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe or James Dean finally wore the trousers, Levi's also achieved its final breakthrough in the fashion world.

Worn by miners, cowboys, rebels, rock stars, presidents and everyday men and women, these functional pieces were the clothes people not only worked in—they lived their lives in, too. But Levi’s® are more than that. They’re the purest wearable form of authentic self-expression.


Today, statistically every German owns an average of eight pairs of jeans alone. Levi's produces around 250 million pairs of jeans every year to supply the whole world with its unique fabrics and styles. You probably already know that the topic of sustainability is also very relevant in the fabric industry today.

Innovation first, but always with the environment in mind! This is also a big topic at Levi's. Find out more about the denim brand's sustainability here.


Meanwhile, Levi's is much more than just jeans! The brand's denim products are an integral part of street style and is not unknown in the sneaker scene either. Did you know, for example, that there are already several Nike, Air Jordan and New Balance models? The Jordan 4 Levi's NRG 'White' and the Nike SB Dunk Low Levi's Blue Denim have an upper made of denim.

More Levi's sneaker collaborations >>

Levi's is also known for unusual streetwear collaborations, such as with Swiss high-fashion brand Vetements. With our sneaker news we keep you up to date on new products and special collabs as well as other exciting Levi's projects.

As always, make your own overview of all the Levi's highlights. On the website you'll find lots of trendy pieces and the odd good deal.