Good Jeans: The Man Who Gave Levi’s A Social Conscience

Some brands are so big, so ubiquitous, that it’s hard to imagine that they were once small businesses, or that the name on their instantly recognisable logo belonged to a real person. Levi Strauss was one of those real people. Born in Bavaria, Germany, he moved to the US in 1846. After seven years in New York, he headed to the west coast to join the gold rush, not as a prospector, but to set up a wholesale business, dealing in, among other goods, clothing. In San Francisco he quickly became a respected businessman and, in 1873, struck gold himself when he spotted the potential of the hard-wearing riveted trousers being made for labourers by tailor Jacob Davis. The two men went into business together, as Levi Strauss & Co, and before long were manufacturing thousands of pairs of blue jeans, the US workwear that went on to become a worldwide wardrobe staple. Read more at The Guardian.