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They are known and worn by literally the whole world. Jeans. Originally work trousers, jeans have been an integral part of many of our wardrobes for more than 140 years. And this unexplainable fashion phenomenon regularly also appears in various permutations in the most luxurious of collections by famous designers.

The fascinating jeans world

Jana Vápeníková
07.Sep 2016
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3 minutes

Trousers for prospectors

The first pair of jeans in the world first saw the light of day in 1873. Their producers, the trader Levi Strauss and the tailor Jacob gained a patent for what were at that time work trousers designed for American prospectors. Nobody suspected at that time that this was a move which would be copied by everyone from the fashion industry over the course of the next 140 years, from the top fashion designers in the world, right through to the retail chains.

Denim trousers were wonderfully promoted in the 1950s by the actor James Dean in the film Rebel Without a Cause, where jeans played an important role as rebellious clothing worn by young people. A similar service was performed for jeans by Marilyn Monroe in the film The Misfits and started what was literally a denim craze. Jeans gradually stopped being limited to something for men and begun to also be worn by women. Producers then also adapted this material to suit them in terms of the type of clothing: skirts started to be produced, dresses, shorts and other items of women’s clothing.

Selvedge is in

Denim and products made from it can today be purchased in various degrees of quality. Starting with cheap jeans for a few hundred crowns (however, where you cannot be certain that this fashion item is not sewn somewhere in China from low-quality machine-produced denim), right through to luxurious material resulting from superb, careful production by hand. The most prized denim in the world is Japanese. Why Japanese exactly? There are several reasons for this: The first of them is the quality of the fabric. The original denim was so-called selvedge. This was manually processed cotton woven on traditional shuttle looms with a clean finish, thanks to which the fabric does not fray.

Luxusní byt na prodej, Praha 5 - 232m
Luxusní byt na prodej, Praha 5 - 232m, Praha 5

Manual production was however gradually superseded by machine production which made it possible to produce many times more fabric and which thus also made production cheaper. However, the resourceful Japanese purchased these manual looms from denim producers and made traditional production into a virtue. Selvedge denim looks better, is more durable and also dyed by hand with natural indigo. And above all: who would not want something truly original and handmade in their wardrobe?

Vintage items

If you are fans of things which are not only expensive and luxurious, but above all things “which not everyone owns”, look for vintage jeans. You can find them in specialised vintage shops or for example on eBay. A sure bet are items by Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler. For example, Levi’s had a large “E” in the logo until 1982. If you find a pair of jeans with “LEvi’s” on the back patch, you can be certain that you have come across a true collector’s item. But be careful: there is vintage and there is vintage. If you want really “old and original items”, you will most likely have to search for them carefully. If you want a special item of clothing, but a new one, and above all you want it immediately, try LVC jeans from the Levi’s Vintage Collection. This famous brand offers perfect reproductions of its historical items of clothing.

Luxury denim season 2016

Roberto Cavalli, Dussault, Key Closet, APO, Gucci, Moschino and many other global fashion companies are not letting themselves be put to shame by the others in their range of denim items.

In the coming autumn–winter 2016 season, jeans inspired by the 80s will be very fashionable: flared legs and a high waist, or on the contrary slim jeans in a soft, pliable and superbly fitting design. Jeans with “sophisticated rips” will also be worn as will jeans in combination with a leopard-skin design or velvet.

Denim records

  • Most expensive jeans – these are from the Secret Circus brand. They are encrusted with diamonds and cost 1.3 million US dollars.
  • Oldest jeans – jeans by Levi’s from 1879. They are kept in the company archive in San Francisco in a fire-proof box.
  • The most classic jeans – of course the legendary 501 jeans by Levi’s.

Did you know that…

… jeans which can talk exist? Not literally, but they are certainly able to tell the story of their owner. They are called Momotaro, come from Japan and after having been sewn they are not treated any further, for example by being washed. The personality and lifestyle of their owner is not imprinted on them until worn. 

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