When Levi Strauss invented jeans during the 1800’s he did not call his strange pants denim jeans or even jeans at all. These trousers were originally made out of sailcloth and canvas for miners and prospectors to wear as they were complaining about how their ordinary pants would stretch and split on the job. As the canvas became short in supply he switched to a sturdy fabric called serge made in Nimes France known as Serge de Nimes which later on was shortened to “Denim.” They were originally called “waist overalls.”
The first pair of Levi’s cost only $1.25 in 1880. In fact, one of those original pairs actually sold for $46,532. So what exactly does the YKK on the zipper of your Levi’s stand for? It actually is for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushibibaish, the world’s largest zipper manufacturer. The Levis visitor’s center actually opened in 2003 for the company’s 150th anniversary. The center features historic and current collection of clothing and documents. There is everything from letters to company advertisements to garment made by contestants in “Project Runway” earlier this year.
The world’s oldest pair of jeans is from 1879. One unusual and funny fact is that Levi Strauss hired Jefferson Airplane in 1967 to record a radio commercial for the company. The company can’t replay the song, “White Levi”, which was a version of the song “White Rabbit”. It had some lyric changes due to copyright issues. Another fact is that people actually like to be close with really old stuff says Levis historian Lynn Downey. You should not place any barriers between people and history. In the body of the corporate headquarters on 1155 Battery St in San Francisco you can visit the headquarters for Levi Strauss.
The movie star Bruce Willis actually appeared in the first series of Levi’s 501 Blues commercials around 1986. When the song “Spaceman” by Babyon Zoo was used in a Levi’s jean ad in 1995 it was destined to be number one in the UK. The part used in the ad was the very start of the song which sounds as if the song will be a dance song. People bought the song because of this only to take it home and play it and found it was a rock song. Other songs to hit the top after being used in their ad include “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band, “Inside” by Stilts kin and “Boombastic” by Shaggy.