We can rightly consider 20 May to be jeans “official birthday”. 140 years ago on that date, Jewish immigrant Loeb Levi Strauss received a US patent for the production of dark blue trousers made of canvas, designed for miners in the gold mines… which, later on, became the clothes that conquered the whole world.
Historians long traced the origin of jeans by their names in English… denim and jeans. The first one refers to the French city of Nîmes, which is famous for its durable fabrics, the second to Genoa in Italy, with its textile mills. Written sources preserve only fragmentary information, but it appears that in the middle of the 17th century Genoa shipped cheap fabric of this type to northern Europe (especially, England). The English imported this fabric from Genoa (which later became known as denim), sewed it into clothing, and sold it throughout Europe as “Jane” or “Gin”. Art historians allegedly found an image of people wearing jeans (a woman in a denim skirt and a boy in a denim jacket, which is visible through gaps in his bright clothes) in the paintings of an unknown Italian master in the middle of the 17th century, dubbing him, “The Master of Blue Jeans”.
20 May 2013