THE LEVI STRAUSS CO. TIMELINES
TIMELINE 1853 – 2000
Levi set up a small dry-goods house in San Francisco, which grows into a prosperous business over the next twenty years.
Jacob Davis a tailor from Nevada invented to rivet the pocket corners on the pants for increased durability. Davis contacted Levi Strauss to agree to file a “jeans rivet” patent and started making waist overalls with copper rivets to strengthen the jeans.
The pants are called waist overalls (work wear) with these feature’s; one back pocket, Acurate stitching, watch pocket, chinch, suspender and buttons crotch rivet.
The first jeans had a watch pocket and still today one of the most Important details about the jean’s anatomy. In the 1960s, the watch pocket got another street name added, the “drug pocket.”
The two-horse brand leather patch introduced by Levi Strauss Co. to demonstrate strength of the jeans, and the patent riveted clothing.
Levi Strauss Co. jacket named Type I jacket introduced in the early 1900’s with LOT 506XX. One detail was the cinch-back, called “clinchers” with a silver buckle, later replaced with bronze and the single front pocket.
Cone Mills North Carolina became Levi Strauss Co supplier of denim fabrics and later becomes one of Levi Strauss most important business relationship in their long history. The earthquake and fire destroy the headquarters and two factories of Levi Strauss & Co in San Francisco.
Levi Strauss Co. introduces the first LOT number 501 for their jean’s model (501 jeans). Why 501 was chosen is unknown because all Levi’s data was lost in 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
Simon David invents the “Koveralls” LS&CO. receives the Highest Award for waist overalls at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
Levi Strauss Co. adds belt loops to the denim jeans.
Cone Mills 10 oz. red selvage denim only for the Levi’s 501 jeans. Woven 29” wide looms also known as XX denim.
Levi Strauss Co. register the word Levi’s as a trademark.
Levi Strauss Co. creates the first jeans for girls named “Lady Levi’s”.
Levi Strauss Co introduces the Red Tab placed on the left side of the right pocket with the capital letter. LEVI’S stitched in white.
The Arcuate stitching design is registered as a trademark by Levi Strauss Co.
Levi Strauss Co. introduces Levi’s type ll jackets; a modern version of the type l jacket; many fine details, the most visually different is an added front pocket.
Levi Strauss Co. introduces a new denim jacket LOT number 557XX also known as the trucker jacket.
Pre-shrunk Levi’s jeans are introduced to the market.
Levi Strauss Co. launch STA-PREST jeans.
Levi Strauss Co. introduces the new house mark the “batwing” adopted in 1967, with the founder of Levi Strauss spelled Levi’s
Levi Strauss Co. introduce Bell Bottom Jeans
Corduroy & polyester jeans introduced by Levi Strauss Co.
Levi Strauss Co. changes the red tab letters, LEVI’S was written in capital letters, name changes to Levi’s small letter creating the concept Big E & LVC (Levi’s vintage clothing) started from 1971.
Levi Strauss Co. the most successful advertising campaign ever was launched in 86. The mix of good story telling & rock music became classics & still today talked about. The sales of 501 jeans rose with as much as 800% yearly and several songs used in the commercials became top one hits in UK & America.
Levi’s Vintage Clothing introduced globally. Replica of historical clothing from the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives throughout different decades and youth cultures.
Levi Strauss Co. develops the global Trendscout teams, trend research for the next blueprint in denim jeans
Levi Strauss Co. presents mega-trends 2000 – beyond first research about a change towards sustainable design importance for the brand in the nearby future.
Levi Strauss innovative new concept Levi’s RED is introduced, in the premium jean’s market. With fabrics such as hemp strengthen Levi Strauss Co their position among innovators and press. Engineered Jeans is the commercial spin-off of Levi’s RED
Levi’s engineered jeans introduced, the 21 first-century jean’s DNA
Levi Strauss Co introduces the new and modern re-design pocket labels, hand tags, tees and underwear for all jeans lines globally included Levi’s engineered Jeans.
Levi Strauss & Co. celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding.
Innovative Levi’s eco organic jeans debut, catering to the eco-friendly consumer
Levi Strauss Co. introduces “Made and Crafted” clothing inspired from the archive, modern fit and fabrics
Levi Strauss Co. introduces Curve ID, custom jeans made to fit the curve of a woman’s body.
Levi Strauss Co. introduced a more sustainable jean’s line called Water<Less collection.
Levi Strauss Co. introduces Men’s Commuter Jean, built for bicycling.
LEVI STRAUSS & CO. 1996 – 2001 the most creative years in modern time
The timelines present the long history and heritage of Levi Strauss Co with the most important jeans-wear introduction and other important dates; however, a few have been left out and other has been added, particularly the years between 1996 – 2000 the reasons are many: first of all, I was employed within the company between 1994 – 2001 and secondly, the period between 1996 – 2001 was the most creative years in modern denim Jean’s history. During those difficult years, the brand managed to turn a negative trend, Levi Strauss Co. was perceived by the market as grey, a dusty, old and somewhat boring brand without any newness or innovation. During those years Levi Strauss managed to transform into once again the leading jeans brand worldwide. The period of time is regarded by many as the most creative years in the brand modern history.
LEVIS STRAUSS CO. FACED A DIFFICULT TIME
In the end of the 1990’s Levi Strauss, Co. faced a lot of new competitions, and the market denim market became very fragmented. Brand new fresh advertising such as Diesel stole a lot of tension from Levi’s and got loads of PR. Non-denim fabrics became extremely popular, just mention the work-wear trends, Levi’s flagship 501 jeans had during the 1980s and 90’s grown incredible, and Levi’s people was blind and deaf to the fact that nothing grows into heaven. Signals from market, people and research told the truth of a weakened brand and less sought-after Jean; however, at this point it was impossible to avoid a fall without scratches. In my opinion, the 501 jeans became bigger than the brand itself and created a dangerous situation; most Levi’s people and especially those who had been in leading positions ignored early trend forecasts and did not realize the impact changing trends would cause trouble for the brand.
However, this was not the only issue making the downturn even harder; Nike started as the first major brand to outsource all productions throughout countries and producer offering lowest price, this made it impossible for Levi Strauss to compete. As most of the factory was owned and operated by Levi Strauss and many of them streamlined for 501 jeans production.
THE CREATIVE TURN AROUND
Levi’s needed to take a grip on the situation, nevertheless; 2-3 years with a combination of poor product, marketing management and board decisions that did not put enough power behind it (allocated budgets). Finally, a very strong market driven leadership with sufficient resources worked the plan bringing the brand back to top position. Most people might not know that it was in Europe and not US the creative turnaround happened.
In 1998, the Trendscout project was established with a large network of trend-scout across Europe; US and Japan gave input monthly forming the future direction of products and marketing. One of the key findings trend-scout project in 2000 mega trend was; sustainable fashion. Concepts such as Levi’s Vintage Clothing (LVC) , smaller fresh collection’s Levi’s casuals, 1960s STA Prest, All-duty work wear, future work-wear brand ICD+ (Industrial clothing division with build in mobile phones. MP3 player, etc.) was launched in the market. The dusty old Levi’s labeling of products such as pocket labels, hand tags, packaging was re-designer and modernized. However, the revolutionizing project was launched of Levi’s RED, and the commercial spin-off and mass-market product Levi’s engineered was introduced and seen as the twenty-first century jeans’ blueprint. Together with innovative digital marketing, web sites and renewed and positive feedback from press and consumer managed Levi Strauss Co to turn the negative trend and take back the position as the leading and talked about fashion brand around the world.
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