Today, May 20th, 1873 The Jean was patented. In honor of denim and it’s dominating historical presence we wrote a blog post about the history of denim.

It’s legacy, like denim itself is timeless, profound, and breathtaking. Jeans will forever be a classic.

Hope you enjoy!

May 20, 1873: The Era of Denim Jeans

Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss received the first patent for the iconic blue jeans. Their invention changed the fashion world forever and started the era of the denim. Yet, Davis and Strauss didn’t patent jeans.

Their patent was actually for adding copper rivets to stress points to make jeans more durable. See before their patent, denim was only worn as a worker uniform, usually in factories. And, I think Davis and Strauss were thinking more along the lines of making denim a reliable uniform than a fashion statement.

1939: Blue Jeans On the Red Carpet

Denim made its debut on Hollywood screens as the cowboy uniform in western movies such as Stagecoach. This made John Wayne and blue jeans ever young boy’s dream Halloween costume.

1941: Women Step Up and Into Denim

To help WWII efforts, women worked in factories and wore, you guessed it, denim!

1945: Anti-Fashion Fashion Statement

After the war, things had changed including the decision to wear denim outside of the factories. But not to be fashionable but as a rebellion against social norms.

1954: Rebel Without a Cause, But a Definite Effect

James Dean wears denim in Rebel Without A Cause making us notice the sexy blues, and we’re not talking about his eyes.

1957: Rhythm and Blues are an American Sensation

Elvis Presley gyrates his hips in denim and into our hearts in Jailhouse Rock.

1970-1980s: Washed Denim Washes Over All Trends

Denim brands emerge but offer pre-broken in jeans, such as stonewashed and distressed.

Late 1990s: From Fashion to Passion

Japanese denim enthusiasts recreated the new “vintage” jean by rewoving their own selvedge denim, recast buttons and rivets, and even bringing up the old sewing machines that used to make American workwear.

Late 2000s: New Brands Practice Old Methods

American brands celebrate the once beloved denim jeans that started it all and specialize in raw denim. Before you know it, raw denim is sold all over the world.

October 2016: What Men Made, Women Perfected

CAKE  ⊽ DENIM makes raw denim even better by using a fabric that is eco-friendly and includes stretch. Enter The Nightingale: the first raw skinny tailored to women.


To See Our Detailed Timeline Click Here