How Levi Strauss Made Denims the Most Popular Clothing Item

Posted on March 14, 2012

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Blue jeans have never been the same, ever since Levi Strauss reinvented its concept.  The German-Jewish immigrant first came to America to rejoin his brothers in New York, who had started a dry goods business called J. Strauss Brother & Co. Little did he know that he would make his own mark in just a matter of years.

After a few years of success in New York, the family decided to open a branch in the West Coast and to drive the company into the California Gold Rush. The 24-year-old left the Big Apple with the intention of representing his family and opening a branch of his brother’s business. Shortly after he arrived, he met a prospector who was neither interested in his business nor his products, but gave him an idea on what he ought to sell. The prospector told Levi, point blank, that he should have brought pants instead of selling rough canvas.

Thus begins Levi’s story of turning denim into the most popular clothing product, ever. The first pairs of Levi’s jeans were worn by miners, and by 1973 those denims began to have a distinct, elaborate pocket stitch design. This would forever become Levi’s mark, synonymous to quality and functionality.

Named as one of the 50 greatest entrepreneurs of all time, Levi has defined what it truly takes to be a legendary entrepreneur.  He made it work by answering to the demands of the market, finding a partner who shared his vision, making an image for the company, and unceasingly reinventing their products. As a result Levi’s has consistently been the top of its game; no other denim company has come close. Such a feat would not have been possible without the vision of Levi Strauss, a rare gem in the industry of clothing and entrepreneurship.

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Posted in: Entrepreneurs