Robert L. Peters

20 May 2008

Levis… riveted jeans turn 125.


San Francisco, California

On this day in 1873, clothing manufacturer Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis were granted a patent for using copper rivets to strengthen the pockets of denim overalls, paving the way for their business Levi Strauss & Co. to start manufacturing their first line of blue jeans.

In 1971, while art director at Young & Rubicam International in Brussels, Antwerp-born designer Van Bladel created this directly clever, cheeky, succinct poster-statement for the European market… stating that “slipping into a pair of Levis was as good as slithering into a very tight second skin.” Across the pond, the Levi’s poster featuring the (now) famous bare-butt with the Levis pocket stitching painted on was aborted, deemed unacceptable for the (more puritanical) US market at the time.

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