They’re comfy. They last for years and years. They don’t require dry-cleaning or any other kind of special treatment. They’re perfect for a number of occasions, from a trip to the grocery store, to a walk in the park, to an evening at the pub, to a number of even semi-formal social occasions. They’re incredibly versatile, meaning they look good with pretty much everything, from t-shirts to smart blazers. In fact, you can’t imagine life without them at all.
What are we talking about? Jeans, of course! This iconic garment is more than deserving of it own holiday, as is Mr. Levi Strauss, a man without whom jeans as we know them might not exist at all.
History of Levi Strauss Day
Levi Strauss was a German-American businessman born in Bavaria on February 26th, 1829, who came to the United States with his family the mid-1800s when he was 18 years old. Strauss began as a dry goods wholesaler in San Francisco, California, where he sold various items such as clothing, bedding, bags and handkerchiefs to settlers, many of whom had arrived in California to take part in the gold rush.
Needless to say, the hard physical labor required of the miners of the day and those building new railroads made it difficult for them to find clothing that would last for more than a few months without falling apart at the seams. One day in 1870, one of Strauss’ clients, a tailor named Jacob W. Davis was approached by a woman who needed a pair of exceptionally strong working pants for her husband, a woodcutter.
Her request prompted Davis to make a pair of pants from the denim he’d bought at Strauss’ shop that he then strengthened with copper rivets to reinforce the stitching. Word of the new article of clothing and its endurance spread fast, and soon Davis was not able to keep up with the demand for his invention, nor did he have the resources to open a larger tailor shop or obtain a patent.
Falling further and further behind and afraid someone else would steal his idea, Davis decided to ask for Strauss’ financial backing in the filing of a patent application. Strauss agreed, the patent was issued, the two men became business partners, and Levi Strauss & Co was born.
How to celebrate Levi Strauss Day
Levi Strauss’ story is considered to be the quintessence of the “American Dream”, a belief that all men and women were created equal and that hard work, ambition and creativity are all that is needed to become successful, both financially and otherwise. Levi Strauss’ family was anything but wealthy, with his father making just enough money as a peddler to keep the family afloat until he died of tuberculosis, a tragedy that plunged the Strauss family into poverty. Regardless of any and all setbacks, however, Levi Strauss managed to make an enormous amount of money. Strauss was not the stereotype of a stingy, rich miser, however–far from it.
Throughout his life, he made numerous donations to various orphanages and other charity organizations. That’s why a great way to celebrate this day would be to read the biography of Levi Strauss or any other man or woman who has achieved success through hard work and dedication, and then used his or her money and influences to help others.