History of Levis

1853: Levis was founded!


The founder of Levis was a Bavarian born man called Levi Strauss (hence why the brand is named Levis). Levi went to San Francisco to try and promote his newly made brand, and he did so by selling boots and clothes to small retail stores in the West of America.

1872: The Rivets

Levi Strauss teams up with a tailor from Reno, Nevada who was called John Davis to create a pair of jeans which would be made for the work men as the strength of the jeans would increase and be made more resistant.

1873: Blue jeans

Levi Strauss teams up with John Davis once again to make another pair of workman’s jeans, however this time they would be made of true blue denim. Then on the 20th May the US patent and trademark office grants patient to #139 to Levi Strauss and John for the invention. So this is how the original blue ‘XX’ was born.

1886: The horses


The two horses on the logo demonstrate the incredible strength and resistance of the Levis clothing. The two horses were added to the logo for the first time in 1886.

1890: From ‘XX’ to the 501’s

The ‘XX’ jeans name was then changed to the iconic number of the 501’s. The name still remains today.

1895: Performance gear

The first pair of bicycle pants was released in this year by Levis. Then 116 years later they designed the Levis Commuter Jeans, which are made for multi-functional performance for today’s modern cyclist.

1902: RIP Levi Strauss


Levi Strauss sadly passed away in September of 1902. Then his four nephews take over the Levis business and also carry on Levis charity work like giving to children suffering from poverty.

1906: Building down

On the 18th of April the San Francisco earthquake sadly demolishes the Levis head quarters and two of their factories. However employee’s salaries were still given and they then open up a temporary head quarters to keep the employees working. A new factory is then built at 250 Valencia Street.

1908: Go global

The two horse logo then goes global as it is registered in Japan and then begins its marketing with Australia and South Africa is too soon to follow.

1909: The ‘classic’ is introduced

The Khaki pants and clothes are then introduced and added to the Levis brand of clothing.

1912: Party time!

Levis make children’s Koveralls. This was a one piece denim suit that covered the children and was very popular at this time.

1918: Freedom


Freedom all are then introduced by Levis. They were a tunic/trouser outfit which was designed to give women freedom of movement as well as having practicality of doing everyday chores. This was a change from the other clothing in this era!


The Levis name is then registered as a trademark. Wahoo!

1934: Lady Levis

The first ever pair of Levis jeans for women were created! They were made from pre-shrunk denim and had other features like men’s jeans. However they were made feminine by the high nipped in waist.

1936: Red tag


The red tag was placed for the first time on the right back pocket on the jeans! This was placed to show originality compared to their competitors.

1950: Denim Banned

In the 1950’s denim became banned in some schools, mainly schools that are situated in the East as they were seen as a bad influence on younger children. This was due to the fact that most prisoners wore jeans so therefore jeans gave off the wrong influence to young children as they may have started to become rebels.

1954: The Denim Family

Levis then introduce ‘The Denim Family’. The jeans were now seen as leisure wear and no longer seemed inappropriate. They were also no longer seen as just being worn for work jeans.

1960: First Factory

The first factory is opened up in the south of America, which is located in Blackstone Virginia.

1961: Slim fit Jeans


Slim fit jeans are now welcomed by the modern teenage boy of that decade and seen as being very fashionable.

Early 1960’s:


Levis decided to do the shrinking of the jeans themselves, so Pre-Shrunk jeans are then introduced so the people no longer have to shrink the jeans them self.

1964: Sta-Prest clothing range

Levis bring out the Sta-Prest clothing range. The range consisted of jeans that had a permanent crease down the middle of each trouser leg. So no more ironing!

1965: Levi Stores

Levi stores are now opened up in Europe and Asia. Levis also start distributing to other countries in Europe.

1967: Batwing


The red house mark ‘batwing’ is designed by Walter Landor and his associates. It is still highly recognizable Levis sign.

1973: Denim Art Contest

Levis launch Denim Art Contest, this is where customers would send in photos of their hand decorated jeans and jackets. The winners got the chance to tour American Folk art Museums.

1980/84: Olympic Games


Levis supplied and also made the clothes for the athletes who competed in the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984.

1999: Iconic Brand

Levi’s 501 jeans are named fashion item of the century by time magazine!



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