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Part One Of “Jewish Clothing Styles & Modern Fashion” Series

Blue Jeans: Symbol of "Common Man"

Blue Jeans: Symbol of “Common Man”

In the 1978 article, “The Jeaning of America – and the World”, Carin C. Quinn wrote:

“This is the story of a sturdy American symbol which has now-spread throughout most of the world. The symbol is not the dollar. It is not even Coca-Cola. It is a simple pair of pants called blue jeans, and what the pants symbolize is what Alexis de Tocqueville called “a manly and legitimate passion for equality. …” Blue jeans are favored equally by bureaucrats and cowboys; bankers and deadbeats; fashion designers and beer drinkers. They draw no distinctions and recognize no classes; they are merely American.”

Therefore, it is not surprising that blue jeans are another “American symbol” that was invented and promoted by Jews.

The story begins in 1848, when settlers discovered large gold deposits in California. During this “gold rush”, many Jews flooded the west coast in search of wealth.

Among these settlers were Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss, the Jews who invented the denim pants commonly known as blue jeans.


Jacob Youphes was born in Riga (present day Latvia). In 1854, he moved to America and changed his name to Jacob W. Davis. He arrived in California during the gold rush but did not find any gold.

Eventually, he settled in Nevada as a clothing tailor. During this period, gold miners traveling through Nevada needed supplies. Davis opened a store and sold tents, wagon covers, and blankets made of denim.

At this point, denim was recognized as a sturdy fabric but not used for clothing.

However in 1870, the wife of a lumberjack asked Davis to design a pair of durable pants for her husband. Davis agreed and eventually decided to use denim fabric. After the pants were sewn together, Davis supported the pockets with metal rivets to prevent them from tearing away from the pants.

These denim pants became popular and Davis decided to patent the invention. However, he did not have the fee to file the application. He searched for an investor willing to fund the project.

On May 20, 1873, patent number 139,121 was granted to Jacob W. Davis and the Levi Strauss & Company for the denim pants and the use of rivets in clothing.

With these denim blue jeans, Jacob W. Davis helped launch a fashion revolution that would change the world.


This article was part one of the “Jewish Clothing Styles & Modern Fashion” series:

Introduction: JnJ Presents “Jewish Clothing Styles & Modern Fashion” Series
Jacob W. Davis Invents Denim Pants (Jeans)
Levi’s Jeans: Levi Strauss
Adrian Greenberg & Fashion In Movies
Macy’s Inc: Fred Lazarus Jr.
The Timberland Company: Nathan Swartz
T.J. Maxx: Max & Morris Feldberg
Judith Leiber Creates Luxury Handbags
Diane von Furstenberg Invents Wrap Dress
Polo Ralph Lauren: Ralph Lifshitz
Calvin Klein: Calvin Klein
The Gap & Banana Republic: Donald Fisher
Men’s Wearhouse: George Zimmer
American Eagle Outfitters: Jerry & Mark Silverman
Guess Clothing: Paul Marciano
Kenneth Cole Productions: Kenneth Cole
DKNY: Donna Karan
Ecko Unltd: Marc Milecofsky
Juicy Couture: Pamela Skaist-Levy & Gela Nash Taylor
Conclusion: Homosexual Jews & Modern Fashion

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