The History of Jeans By: Shelby & SamI

  • The fabric denim orgninated in the French town of "de Nîmes". The name of this town is how the fabric "denim" came to be named.
  • However, pants made of denim were not created until the 16th century , where they were sold in Genoa to Genoese Navy sailors who used them as a durable alternative to normal pants.
  • The term "Blue jeans" that we use now is originated from the French phrase "bleu de Gênes" which means the blue of Genoa.
  • Above is a map of the first known place that jeans were produced and sold.
  • The Jeans sold in Italy at the time are different from what we associate with today's blue jeans.
  • In the 1850's a German goods merchant named Levi Strauss invented a design that was patented and has become known as the blue jeans we know today.
  • After receiving many complaints from minors about Strauss's pants ripping , he decided to reinforce the pants with metal rivets in areas around the pockets and other high stress areas in the pants.
  • After his idea became a hit, he wanted to patent it, but wasn't able to until Jacob David partnered up with him and backed him up financially.
  • On May 20, 1873 the men received U.S. patent #139,121 for "Improvement in Fastening Pocket Openings".
This map is a concentration of where minors were when Strauss was creating denim-riveted jeans. The more yellow areas were where jeans diffused to because of the high demand for the quality of the material.
Levi Strauss's jeans company that is known today as Levi's.
Today's Levi jeans logo.
Above is the patented rivets that transformed jeans as we know them.

During the beginning stages the formation of jeans exhibited relocation diffusion because of its slow spread to other places simply because of the small amount of people bringing back the goods to their home to use, not because of a popular trend that spread in between hearths. However, as the trend turned into more of a fashion statement rather than a usage item, it spread quickly from heart to hearth creating the effect of hierarchical diffusion because of popular culture demands.

Fun Fact: The diffusion of jeans has expanded so much that the average American owns 7 pairs of blue jeans.

Jeans are distributed from just about any clothing store that you can go to, or anywhere that you go online shopping for clothes. The diffusion is caused by important figures wearing a style of jeans and it being spread on social media. There are other ways that jeans are spread through hierarchical diffusion, but this is the most common way in today's age.

Kendall Jenner wearing a style of jeans that soon became more popular.


1950's style jeans, primarily worm by men.
The 1960's was when jeans became a part of women's fashion.
Around the 1970's bell bottomed jeans became a hit.
During the 1980's high-waisted jeans became a popular trend.
Baggy jeans were common in the 1990's.
Skinny jeans are the style that we see most commonly today.


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