15 things you didn’t know about Levi’s

30 October 2019

15 Facts about Levi’s that Will Leave You in a Surprise

Hello Aluxers, today we’re going to talk about Levi’s, the biggest name in the world of denim.

Levi’s is an American based clothing brand that was started on May 20, 1873, when Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis got their patent for riveted jeans. Levi Strauss, the founder of the company, had planned on starting his own dry goods business. Jacob Davis, a local tailor from Nevada, approached him with the idea of partnering in business and manufacturing riveted pants.

A Quick History

Their first jeans are the popular “501” jeans, which were invented in the same year they were granted the patent. In 1902, Levi Strauss died and left the company in his nephew’s hands. Since then, the company has expanded with various clothing products such as khakis, lady’s Levi jeans, and the 1980 and 1984 athletic wear for the Olympics.

The company has survived throughout the decades and is one of the most popular denim brands ever created. It is a multi-billion dollar international corporation that is always innovating despite being over 140 years old. They have been around for ages, but how well can you say you know the company behind your favorite pair of Levi’s jeans?

What’s better than a video that counts and reads for you? Here’s all of the content and information from this article in an interesting video:

With that said, let’s dive into 15 things you didn’t know about Levi’s:


Levi Strauss was from Germany not San Francisco

Unlike what most people believe, Levi was not from San Francisco but was originally from Buttenheim, Germany. He was born there in 1829, and he migrated to the U.S with his mother and two sisters at the age of 18. He was intent on joining his brothers who had a wholesale dry goods business under the name “J. Strauss Brother & Co.” In 1853, he attained his American citizenship.


Levi Strauss Relocated to San Francisco due to the California Gold Rush

One reason why Levi Strauss relocated to San Francisco in 1853 was due to the California Gold Rush. However, his attention soon turned to starting his own dry goods business, which he finally named “Levi Strauss & Co.” Down his road of success, around 1872, Levi got a letter from a man named Jacob Davis, who was one of his customers and a tailor from Reno, Nevada.

Gold ore | Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jsjgeology/16868343368The content of the letter included how he designed his pants and that he was seeking a partner to patent his idea. On May 20, 1873, the patent was granted to both Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis, and blue jeans came to life.


The First Levi’s Jeans were Manufactured as Workmen’s Clothes

Originally, Levi’s were designed as work clothes for cowboys, laborers who worked in mines, lumberjacks, and railroad workers. The workmen wore them over their regular clothes while working and would leave them behind after work.

The fact that the jeans were worn over normal clothes is the reason why they were originally referred to as overalls. The overalls featured a single back pocket, a cinch on the waist, and a rivet on the crotch that was meant to keep the workers from blow-outs.

Levi himself didn’t even wear his own creations as he was already a wealthy merchant, and successful people back in the day didn’t wear jeans.


The ‘Dude Ranch Craze’ and World War II were Important Growth Times for Levi’s

Levi’s jeans were sold only on the West Coast during the 1910’s until 1930 when the jeans were sold to the easterners. The ‘dude ranch craze’ started when some people from the East Coast bought their Levi’s jeans from a dude from a dry store ranch who was vacationing there.

World War II was also an important time for Levi’s success when the blue jeans were only sold to people involved in defense work. Veterans going to college also helped boost the market for Levi’s jeans around campuses throughout the country.

The popularity of Levi’s jeans spiked between the years of 1950 and 1980, when they were popular among youth subcultures, including hippies, rockers, and West Coast college students.   


Levi’s Bought the “Nevada Jean” for 46,532 Dollars, which is the Highest Amount They’ve Ever Spent on a Jean

The highest amount Levi’s has ever paid for a pair of jeans was $46,532. These jeans were retrieved from a mine in Nevada. The pair of jeans was referred to as the “Nevada Jean” because their original production lot could not be identified.

It was more of a carpenter jean and not one of their famous “501” jeans that had a pocket for a folding ruler on the left thigh. They bought the jeans, which date back to their 1880 design, from a private auction on eBay.

Resource: Most Expensive Jeans |Top 10


Their Headquarters, Factories, and Records were Destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

In 1906, Levi’s suffered huge losses due to a major earthquake in San Francisco and the fire it caused. Their original headquarters, located in San Francisco, were destroyed alongside their manufacturing factories.

They also lost a huge part of their history when their records were destroyed as well as their valued assets, including their jeans designs. World War I was also a trying time for Levi’s as their profits started to decline despite the success of their koveralls. Like any other U.S company, Levi’s also strained to maintain their profitability during the Great Depression in the 1930’s.


The Labor Rights Case in 1991 was a Scandalous Time for Levi’s

Competition for Levi’s peaked in 1990 due to the success of other brands and cheaper products from overseas. They started closing their U.S factories and got more into contractual agreements with offshore companies to expand their product base.

The scandal they faced in 1991 circulated around pants that had been made in the Northern Mariana Islands. About 3% of the Levi’s jeans sold with the ‘Made in the USA’ label were discovered to have been made by Chinese laborers in unconducive work conditions.

Levi’s was involved in a long battle over labor rights, and the case was settled by paying $9 million in labor fines to some of their employees, without admitting wrongdoing.


The Red Label on Levi’s Jeans caused a Legal Dispute in 2013

Levi’s jeans were unique in that they had a red fabric tab situated on the seat of their jeans with the brand name. This tag was added in 1936, 63 years after the business was founded. The red label trademark dispute in 2013 was between Levi’s and Colloseum Holding, a Swiss firm that sold jeans with a similar rectangular red fabric on the right seam of the back pocket with their brand name imprinted on it.

Levi’s argued that the red fabric label was their signature look and with or without a brand name, it was a reflection of their designs. Levi’s ended up winning the case and the rights over the trademark.


The “201” Jean is Unlike any Other Jeans Produced by Levi’s

One of the many reasons why Levi’s is popular is their high-quality products. Their products, named according to the lot they are produced in, are labeled with the number 5 as the first number to indicate their high quality. However, they did manufacture a “201” jean, which was lower quality than the globally recognized “501” jean.

As much as these two different designs were similar, they had their own unique differences. While the “501” jean was produced with “XX” denim material, the “201” was made of denim material from the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. The finishing comprised of a linen patch, lighter buttons and a no.2 on the label, indicating its production lot.


Levi Strauss & Co. is Valued at 4.76 Billion Dollars

Levi Strauss & Company continues to be a privately owned company 165 years after it was founded. Their revenues in 2017 totaled $4.9 billion, which is its highest level of revenue for the past 12 years. The company comes in at number 88 on Forbes’ list of privately held companies.

It’s also number 37 on the Forbes list of best places for women to work. The entire company is valued at 4.76 billion dollars.

Resource: Biggest Companies in the World by Revenue


Levi Strauss & Co. Plans on Opening a New Levi’s Shop in New York’s Times Square

Levi’s is a huge clothing brand with multiple shops across the globe. As they continue to grow and develop, they open up stores in different strategic places to reach more of their customers and understand their expectations.

The company announced in November 2017 that they would open the doors of a new store in New York’s Times Square in late 2018. The new store is meant to replace the brand’s current location at 1501 Broadway, which has been in operation since 2008. It will be one of their largest stores lying on approximately 17,000 square feet of land.


The Eureka Innovation Lab is Part of Levi’s Plan to Adapt to the New Generation

Levi lost the early 2000’s generation and it wasn’t a go-to jean brand for the teenagers back then. Levi’s jeans was the number one American brand during the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and early 90’s. As a way of bringing back their lost glory to the 2000 lot, they indulged in several creative innovations that were intended to attract the newest innovation to the brand.

The idea was to concentrate on culture, and a research and development center called the Eureka Innovation Lab was formed. One of their recent innovations is a pair of super-soft and super-stretchy women’s denim pants. This idea was raised when the yoga pants were introduced and became very popular


Levi’s as a Company is Improving the World through Various Movements

Levi’s is an iconic brand that has impacted the world in many ways. For example, they initiated the donate movement that encouraged people to donate their clothing along with other items to those in need. They have also introduced a Care Tag for the planet which is meant to help its consumers reduce their negative environmental impact after purchase.

It tells consumers they should wash their jeans in cold water, air dry them, and if they have jeans lying around, to donate instead of discarding them. When you recycle your clothes with Levi’s, they offer you 25% off your next purchase, which is a rather sweet deal for their customers.


The Crotch Rivet in the Old Levi’s Jeans was Removed as it Caused Discomfort when It Heated Up

When Levi and Jacob Davis received their patent for riveted pants, their main aim was to find a way to hold jeans together. They were to use copper rivets on areas that could easily be pulled apart by strained movements. Since the jeans were meant for workmen, they needed to be strong enough to withstand the physical labor they were engaged in at work.

One of the rivets was placed around the crotch area, but in 1941 that element was discarded. This was because when it got cold and cowboys would warm up around a fire, the rivet would heat up and bring discomfort.


Levi Strauss & Co. has a New Climate Action Strategy, Which is Meant to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On July 31, 2018, Levi Strauss & Co. announced that they are adopting a new climate action strategy that is meant to reduce carbon emissions from its manufacturing plants. The strategy they are to put in place includes using 100% renewable electricity in their facilities and global supply chain.

This is not their first initiative in reducing pollution to the environment, as they also started a similar one in 2011. By 2012, they had managed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 11%. Their current targets are a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in their operating facilities and a 40% reduction in their supply chain.

There you have it, 15 lesser known facts about Levi’s. Now that we’ve learned more about the famous brand, we’d like to know: Do you think Levi’s will be able to remain competitive in the ever-changing clothing industry? Let us know what you think in the comments.