Yves Saint-Laurent once stated that he wished he had invented blue jeans as jeans “are expressive and discreet, they have sex appeal and simplicity,-everything I could want for the clothes I design” (The Fashion Book, Levi Strauss Designer, 1998).
Jeans were invented by Levi Strauss in calaboration with Jacob Davis, in the 1860’s and intended to be durable work pants.
Back in the 19th century if you were seen in denim you probably were a golddigger or working the fields. That all started to change as jeans got adopted by more and more people due to their steardiness, like parents looking for hard wearing play and everyday clothes. What really popoularised jeasn and cemented their place in the fashion world were the 50’s and 60’s rebel youths going around in blue jeans and black leather jackets immitating James Dean and Marlon Brando.
As the youth of the 60’s became the adults of the 80’s they braught with them their beloved denim. The youth of the 80′ and 90’s continued their parents adoration of jeans doing everything in them. From rebelling, skating, headbanging, bike riding, listening to Nirvana or anyone ealse jeans were worn by every subculture. Fashion was also quick to catch-up offering a wide variety of shapes,styles and sizes from the classic Levi’s 501, to pre-shrunk or prewashed, to permanent pressed jeans that do not wrinkle and never need ironing, to stretch, distressed, skinny or biker jeans.
In the end, the words of Virgil Abloh decribe jeans in the best of ways: “Denim inherently has a reality to it, regardless of fashion. It’s pure workwear. ”