Like many others Nordic Poetry has a passion for denim, worn by all ages and enriched with qualities of youth and rebellion, denim is more than just fabric it’s a symbol of heritage and freedom. Our website is full of vintage denim pieces and we think it’s only right that we treat you to a little history on denim and its important role in western culture as well as some of the iconic brands and famous figures who have celebrated it over the decades.
The word denim comes from the name of a sturdy fabric called Serge, originally made in Nimes, France. The oldest jeans in the world are the ones worn by Giuseppe Garibaldi in May 1860!!
1873 –Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received on May 20th the patent for the procedure to rivet trouser pocket corners and other work pants to be strengthened. The Legend of Blue Jeans was born. Levi Strauss originally designed with the needs of the American workers in mind, they wanted clothes that were strong, durable and didn’t tear easily and Levi Strauss’s managed to meet these needs superbly.
1931 – Lee® create the slim Jacket, the first shorter western style denim jacket designed for cowboys Yee Haw!! Slanted pockets made it easier for cowboys to reach inside whilst riding a horse and the wide waistband ensured the jacket did not fold upwards.
1933 – Lee® creates the storm rider. The storm rider was originally a winter version of the slim jacket. The Alaskan blanket lining and cord collar were added for extra warmth. Today this is one of the most iconic pieces for the Lee® brand. Check out the Nordic Poetry’s website for a cool 1960’s storm rider vest.
1940’s – During World War 2 American soldiers took their favourite jeans across seas with them. The denim fashion representing American working class culture was now
spreading across the globe.
1943 – Blue Bell acquires the Casey Jones Work-Clothes Company and the rights to a rarelyused Casey Jones brand name: Wrangler.
1950’s – Denim became a symbol of teenage rebellion which began the transition from workwear to pop culture uniform. Iconic figures like James Dean and Marlon Brando wear Levi’s and Lee® denim in popular films Rebel without a cause (1955) and The Wild One (1953).1960’s – Denim brands start to experiment with different styles of original designs to match the vibrant changes in 60’s fashion, embroided and patterned jeans became popular. Levi’s began to use alternate fabrics like corduroy. See the Nordic poetry website for a rare vintage 1960’s Levi’s brown corduroy anorak.
1971 – The word LEVI’s Red tab on the flag was changed, the ‘E’ in the word Levi’s is replaced with a smaller lower case ‘e’. Levi’s clothing manufactured before 1971 are known as ‘the BigE’s’ and have achieved iconic status, these items are highly collectible. If you want to get your hands on a famous Levi’s ‘Big E’ we will have a vintage denim Levi’s Big E shirt on Nordic Poetry’s site very soon.
1973 –Wrangler jeans became an icon of youth culture, synonymous with teenagers the world over. Check out Nordic poetry’s range of awesome vintage 1970’s Wrangler jackets.
1980’s – Denim pieces became high fashion clothing with top designers from Gucci to Versace and boutique brands making their own individual styles of denim jackets and jeans. Go to Nordic Poetry online for a vintage 1980’s tie dye Levi’s jacket representing one of the eclectic 80’s denim trends.
1990’s – present – Denim is now an integral part of fashion and history. A huge range of designers and small boutiques experiment with exciting new ranges and styles. The classic brands such as Levi’s, Lee® and Wrangler continue to innovate and inspire. Looking forward to spring/summer 2012 denim trends we see stripes, tie dye, jewel encrusted and even neon! This shows how far denim has travelled from its origins in American working class culture to one of the biggest symbols of youth, rebellion and pop culture in fashion. What next? Well as the current trends show denim is a classic trend that will never die and its possibilities seem endless.