Blue Jeans

The History of Denim: A Love Story

Since Levi Strauss produced the first pair of denim pants in the 1860s, blue jeans have become synonymous with comfort, cool, and classic Americana.

Hilary Walsh

Hilary Walsh

"Every pair of jeans has a story and tells a story," Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, the fashion designers behind the label Current/Elliot, write in their new book A Denim Story: Inspirations From Bellbottoms to Boyfriends (Rizzoli, March 2014). Since the 1860s when Levi Strauss created durable denim pants for miners and farmers in the west, blue jeans have become synonymous with classic American culture and style. Today, denim is recognized as comfortable, cool, and able to transcend seasons and time. From overalls to loose boyfriend pants, high-waisted shorts to bell-bottoms, denim symbolizes adventure. It is the perfect blend of femininity and androgyny. A Denim Story, which features vintage images of icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Jane Birkin, Farrah Fawcett, and even Cher in their baby blues, as well as styled editorials shot by photographer Hilary Walsh, serves as a "visual love song to blue jeans." "Loving a pair of jeans is like loving a person," the authors write. "It takes time to find the perfect one and requires care and mending to make it last. And while new love can be exciting, like jeans, it can be all the better with age."

Hilary Walsh

Hilary Walsh

 

Hilary Walsh

Hilary Walsh

Hilary Walsh

 

Hilary Walsh