The History of Denim

Posted on Friday, January 30th, 2015 at 10:18 am

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From its earliest beginnings, to the pair you're wearing now, the evolution of denim is a joyride of invention, style and inspiration. The beloved blue jean has been cuffed, cropped, tailored, flared, dyed, slashed, embellished, dressed up and dressed down… and its popularity has never faded.

Here's a quick look at some of our most-loved denim moments in history.

Denim's humble beginnings are rooted in the American West, as a practical working pant for miners, railroad workers and farmers during the late 19th century. Before long, the standard uniform (known as “waist overalls”) got its first-ever style upgrade: metal rivets and a button fly.

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American cowboys took notice, and the iconic image of the Western blue jean hero was born.

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When Hollywood bad boys Marlon Brando and James Dean started rocking denim in the early 1950s, the world did a double-take. Who could say no to their ruggedly handsome jean-clad looks? Denim became the new symbol of rebellion.

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Once denim founds its way onto the magnetic hips of Marilyn Monroe, women and girls followed suit, and the trend caught fire.

The free-spirited ‘60s and ‘70s gave the classic textile new life, as people turned it into a canvas of self expression. Personalizing your jeans was all the rage, and bright colors, embellishments, embroidery, bell bottoms and new hip-hugging cuts opened the skies of creativity.

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Post-hippie punk rockers brought denim's bad-boy origins to new levels with ripped knees in straight leg cuts.

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From bad boy to femme fatale, denim's previously masculine, rebellious image took a mesmerizing turn with the help of female fashion icons such as Jane Birkin, Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana. The beauties were captured wearing their truest blues in curve-hugging silhouettes.

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Fashion designers took note, and designer denim was born. The newly-glamorous garment became the most coveted fabric on the runway, taking new shape in everything from dresses and miniskirts to bustiers and blazers.

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In fall 2000, the landscape of premium denim was changed forever. Born in Los Angeles, California, 7 For All Mankind was the first company to bring premium denim to scale. 7FAM gained an immediate following for its innovative use of fabrics, fit and finishes, gracing the bodies of Hollywood elite, fashion editors, stylists and women around the world.

From miners and cowboys to the world of high fashion, nothing has reinvented itself quite like denim, and no one pushes the envelope of style and innovation quite like 7FAM. So where will our favourite fabric take us next?

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