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Levi's honors women's denim with traveling exhibits
22
Sep '09
Seventy-five years ago, Levi Strauss & Co. took a risk that forever changed the course of women's fashion. In the fall of 1934, the company introduced “Lady Levi's jeans” – the world's first jeans made exclusively for women (www.womensjeans75.com). Originally created as men's workwear, jeans are now a fashion must-have around the globe, with women's jeanswear leading the way in denim trends each season.

Jeans were originally created by Levi Strauss & Co. for working men in 1873, but the category has since seen a dramatic shift with the advent of the first jeans for women. Today, new fits, fabrics and finish innovations are typically first developed to meet women's needs and tastes and are driven by the demands of the women's market. In fact, sales of women's jeans surpassed men's in 2000, making women the leading consumers of denim in the United States.

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of women's denim, Levi Strauss & Co. Historian Lynn Downey will host store events in New York (September 26th), Los Angeles (October 3rd), San Francisco (October 17th), and Chicago (October 24th) where shoppers can see historical women's jeans and memorabilia and receive special discounts.

Despite the latest high-tech finishing techniques for women's jeans, today's most popular styles – the Boyfriend and Skinny jeans – trace their ancestry back to the earliest jeans developed by Levi Strauss & Co.

Last year, the Boyfriend jean exploded on the fashion scene when trend-setting celebrities were spotted in Los Angeles wearing men's 501 jeans. Women across America quickly adopted this look, which originated in the early 1900s when women wore men's 501 jeans because there was no other option. Today, Levi's Boyfriend jeans for women are one of the most popular styles in the market, offering a relaxed, straight leg and comfortable fit in a range of washes that can be dressed up or down.

Levi's Skinny fit jeans are another fashion must-have this season. Though the fit was originally created by the Levi's brand in the 1960s, the jean has been redesigned to offer a more flattering look to women, with a slim leg and fashionable washes.

“The Levi's brand has a rich heritage of making jeans for fiercely independent and original women – from the pioneering women of the American West who first adopted men's jeans and inspired the creation of a women's jeans range, to today's movie icons,” said You Nguyen, Senior Vice President and Creative Director for the Levi's brand. “Women have truly embraced jeans and made them the cornerstone of their wardrobes. We are just as focused today as we were in 1934 on creating great fitting jeans that make women feel unstoppable.”

Fourteen years after women won the right to vote nationally, women's jeans were born in September of 1934 when Levi Strauss & Co. created Lady Levi's jeans. The line was developed for Western women who had begun wearing men's Levi's jeans on ranches and farms, and for women to wear to a popular new vacation destination – dude ranches. Soon afterwards, Levi's jeans became a popular fashion trend for women on the East Coast and were featured in a 1935 article in Vogue about dude ranching that illustrated two women in Lady Levi's jeans.


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