What are you wearing? No this isn’t that sort of question. But there’s a fairly safe bet you’re wearing a pair of jeans. Everyone wears jeans. From humble beginnings, as workwear, the humble pair of jeans has come a (very) long way. Can you think of a time when you didn’t own a pair? It would be a surprise if you answered yes to the question rather than no.
In the US alone 450 million pairs of jeans are bought each year. Obviously people have more than one pair – but still that is quite the jeans mountain. What is more surprising is how difficult it is to get what you want. For example, it seems like every pair of women’s jeans always have elastic in them, which is enough to drive you mad. Sure have some with elastic for people who want it, but it should be possible to get a women’s cut where the material hasn’t been elasticized. Perhaps that is because custom denim is becoming popular in the market.
Believe it or not jeans have been around since the 16th century. As far as we can tell, the first people who used denim were actually Italians. If you were one of the people who thought it was called De Nimes because that’s where the material was invented this will come as a little surprise.
In fact, the town of Nimes was in there right at the beginning especially when it came to production. But here’s something that will make you think. The French name for the town in Italy who first used the material is Genes. The English speakers among us refer to the town as Genoa. Genes quite quickly became anglicized to jeans ah voila! A brand is made.
Here’s something else you might think is funny – especially if you just spent hundreds of dollars on a new pair of designer De Nimes genes. The innovator and manufacturer Levi Strauss never wore his own product. Jeans are for poor people, or at least that’s what he thought.