Around 1850 hundred thousand people moved to America. They came from everywhere: Italy, Holland, China and Germany. And all of them want to become rich. They heard that you could find gold in California. Some of them dug it up in mines, others looked for the gold in the rivers.
The German Levi Strauss travelled with a boat to America in 1853. He wanted to become rich too. But Levi didn't want to dig with the gold diggers. He opened a store in San Francisco. It was a store were the gold diggers could buy things and pay with gold. Once a customer asked him if he had a really strong pair of trousers. Levi Strauss took a brown canvass. They usually use this for making tents. Of this material he made trousers: the first jeans.
2. The first jeans.
The first jeans were only popular among gold diggers. It were the strongest trousers you could get there. The material had really good quality, it didn't wear out quickly. Thanks to the dark colour you didn't see dirty things on the trousers. The first trousers were brown, now they are blue. And they fit exactly. In a while other guys started wearing jeans like cowboys, farmers and woodworkers.
There's still a brand that's called Levi's, it's the oldest brand. In 1873 Levi Strauss opened a factory in San Francisco, with a tailor Jacob Davis. In 1915 the brand Lee start a factory in Kansas City. Around 1900 they were only used as work clothes. But when more Americans start wear jeans in their free time, there appeared more brands.
A famous designer, Rodeo Ben, designed in 1947 the Wrangler, that is a western jeans, for the company Blue Bell. In 1962 Blue Bell opened there first factory in Belgium.
Right now there are a lot of brands: Calvin Klein, Diesel, GAP, Esprit, Crew, Edwin jeans, Old Navy, Talbots, MUDD and G-sus.
A lot of people want to look like them favourite star. This movie and pop stars make jeans popular:
Marilyn Monroe. She was a sex symbol in the sixties. A lot of woman thought that jeans were only for men, but when Marilyn started to wear them, all the women wanted those sexy jeans.
Destiny's Child. They wear the first with tight jeans and with a low waist. Right now you see a lot of girls with those kind of jeans.
Most of the time you see ministers and presidents in a grey or dark blue suit. When George Bush became president of America he said: I don't want jeans in the White house!
The France town Nimes was in 1900 known as the city where they make strong, blue material for the sails of ships. The Italian city Guena sent the material by boat to America. Levi Strauss there made jeans out of it. In France they called the substance: serge de Nîmes (sersjuh duh niem). In America they thought that was a difficult word to say. So they drop the first word, only de Nimes stay. After a while they start to say denim. This is still the America word for jeans substance.
THIS WAS OUR TALK ABOUT JEANS.