EXPANDING THE EMPIRE

10.15.12

Glenn Beck Launches an All-American Line of Jeans, 1791, With Patriotic New Video

The former Fox star just launched ‘1791,’ an all-American collection of jeans. Nina Strochlic reports on his transition from cable news to patriotic fashion.

When Fox News President Roger Ailes announced Glenn Beck’s “goals were different from our goals,” he probably didn’t expect his prodigious talk-show host to launch a clothing line. The day he left Fox in 2011, the conservative commentator announced he would be creating “1791,” a wholesome, all-American collection of zip-ups and polo shirts with proceeds slated for charity (the name is an ode to the year the Bill of Rights was ratified). Three weeks after its launch the small line “shattered sales projections” (according to Beck’s own news site), and now the cable news star is getting into the denim business.

On Monday, Beck released an über-American video filled with patriotic one-liners. “These were the first American blue jeans. The jeans that built America. And they were built in America,” says the narrator with a Southern twang, as a man does nostalgic American things, harking back to the good ol’ days of working for your dreams and building rockets with your bare hands. Wait, what? Featuring a rugged-looking dude clad in Beck’s new jeans, he drills and welds until lighting a spark under the rocket he just made on a vast frozen tundra and making a run for it. “Americans built locomotives and put a man on the moon. Well, maybe you won’t get your chance to go to the moon, but as an American you sure as heck still can shoot for it.”

Beck says that the jeans will be made with “the exact fabric that the miners used to use in the 1800s.”
Video screenshot

Beck says his turn to fashion came in part by trying to “reclaim the lost art of making quality American clothing” that disappeared when old brands like Levis started going to China for their production. After swearing off Levis on a rant about the brand on his radio show last year (he claimed its “Go Forth” campaign was “glorifying revolution"), Beck decided to take matters into his own hands, er, factories. And the 1791 line is filled with patriotic practices. Some of them are a bit on the stranger side for a clothing company, but you definitely won’t forget you’re wearing something designed by Glenn Beck: his first T-shirts were emblazoned with a skull and crossbones along with the line “Death to Tyranny,” and the next line of shirts had a purple “merit badge” on the sleeve—a reference to the Purple Heart that originated with George Washington.

In a statement, Beck said the jeans will be made with “the exact fabric that the miners used to use in the 1800s.” The jeans brand offers only two styles at the moment—a “classic cut” and a “straight cut” are offered, both of which are designed to “fit comfortably over your boot.” But what about the buttons on Beck’s red-blooded, all-American “honest jeans” that feature an Indian chief and a wild buffalo? Nothing says patriotism like a stereotypical Native American man in a feathered headdress with the year “1791” written above—the year the Bill of Rights was created in order to protect the right to life, liberty, and property of American settlers.