Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jeans: Not Just For Miners Anymore

Back in the day, a failed brewer/cigar store owner named Jacob Wolf decided to try his luck in the tailoring business. He wasn't the kind of tailor that was hemming pantsuits (shout out to Hillary Clinton's stylist on that one) or altering dresses, mind you. This was back in 1871 in the wild west, and our hero was doing his best to outfit mining folk in Reno, Nevada. Not exactly a career choice driven by a burning desire to make a difference in the fashion world.

Young Jacob Wolf had the idea to make trousers out of a material known as "white duck", strengthening them with some copper rivets that had were left over from some horse blankets he'd been making. The trousers were an overnight success, with miners from near and far flocking to his small shop to buy a pair of these new miracle pants - now known as jeans!

Thing is, Jacob had just enough money to keep his business going- he didn't exactly have money budgeted for patent protection. With nowhere else to turn, he asked his fabric supplier if he might help. That fabric supplier's name was Levi Strauss.

What began as one tailor's creative use of horse blanket rivets has spawned one of our national obsessions. Here are some of Jac's latest and greatest:

Kasil Taryn lightweight jeans ($178)

James Jeans Oliver Bermuda Shorts ($150)

Anlo Highwaisted Gena Skirt ($202) in an awesome, old school L'Eggs advertisement pose

Built By Wendy Straight Leg Jeans ($155)

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