The history of jeans tells mostly about the fabric from Nîmes, a city in France. The fabric was called Serge de Nîmes but soon it was shortened as Denim. This was possible because Nîmes is pronounced as Nim. De Nîmes = Denim. Voilà!
Denim was at that time only available in the characteristic indigo blue. The dye for indigo blue came from Genua (now Italy) which was part of France at that time. The dye was called bleu de Gênes or the blue from Genua. Gênes (Genua) is pronounced as Jen. Phonetically bleu the Gênes became blue jeans.
This post is not an advertorial of Levi’s but I can’t write about blue jeans without mentioning Levi Strauss and co. In 1847 Levi Strauss (Levi’s founder), a Jewish German from Bavaria immigrated to the USA. He settled in San Fransisco and earned his money by selling denim pants to gold prospectors. Together with Jacob Davis, one of his customers, Levi patented the new style of work pants; blue jeans.
Nowadays almost everyone wears jeans. It is not only pants for workers looking for gold in the mines and rivers, it has become a fashion item. Jeans are now available for all ages, in various colours and washings and price range.
I wonder how Levi Strauss would think of expensive jeans brands such as 7 all mankind, Nudie, G-Star, Blue blood, Killer jeans, Pepe Jeans etc. Even couture fashion designers have their own jeans label like Armani jeans, Vivienne Westwood, Dolce & Gabbana.
Jeans is easy to wear, casual, rebellious, sexy, manly and sensual. As a teen I stared many hours to the pics of Marlon Brando and James Dean wearing a white tee and a vintage blue jeans. It was imprinted to my mind. Jeans was identical with casual.
So the first time I paired my blue jeans with high heels, it felt strange. Shortly after I got used to it. Now I wear my jeans to work with high heels or flats on casual Friday.
Loyal as I try to be with the original idea, all my jeans are in indigo blue, skinny, straight and loose. Jeans
in another colours just don’t feel right for me. Call me old-fashioned but jeans was derived from bleu de Gênes and I prefer to keep it that way.