Le blue-jeans : récit d'une success story à l'américaine


"Jean and denim remained two very different fabrics, and were used for different types of clothing. Denim was used mainly for workers clothes and jean for lighter clothes that did not have such high durability requirements.
[…] Levi decided to travel west to San Francisco and partake of the benefits of the Gold Rush. His original intent was to open a branch of his brother’s wholesale business. Levi did this diligently for the next 20 years, acquiring a reputation as a quality supplier to small stores throughout the West.
[…] In 1872 he received an offer from Jacob Davis, a tailor from Reno Nevada. Mr. Davis, in order to improve the durability of the pants that he made for his clients, had been adding metal rivets to the highly stressed seams. The idea was successful and he wished to patent it. Lacking the money to do so, he turned to Levi for financial backing, and of course, a partnership.
[…] They started making “waist overalls” out of denim […]. They knew that the selling point of the new product was its durability, making it more appropriate for work clothes.
[…] The company grew in size and fame. By the 1920’s “waist overalls” were the most widely used worker’s pants in America.
[…] By 1950, Levi’s began selling nationally. Everybody now had a chance to wear a pair of original Levi’s Jeans, as they were now called. Other brands emerged […].
The rise of the popularity of jeans after the WWII can greatly be attributed to the influence of the film and music industry.
[…] In the 1960’s and 1970’s the hippy movement embraced them, and the trend to personalize and embellish jeans began.
[…] Now Denim is everywhere. Denim is back on designer’s catwalks, on accessories, home collections, and designer jeans by the hundreds of labels. Price barriers have been broken. Washes and finishes, embellishments, destroyed and distressed jeans, ultra low rise jeans, … the palette available to designers offers limitless possibilities, and the market appears to never bottom out."

Le blue-jeans est aujourd'hui partout, absolument partout.
Originellement prisé par les travailleurs pour son confort ainsi que sa résistance, le jeans est très vite devenu le symbole de l'Amérique. Grâce à ses atouts, il a su s'adapter aux diverses modes tout au long de son histoire, devenant ainsi un vêtement quasi intemporel.
Devenant tour à tour symbole de rébellion et de révolte (avec la mode des « bikers », ou encore avec Elvis Presley), mais aussi de sensualité (avec Marilyn Monroe), le jeans s'est largement répandu auprès de tout le monde, que l'on soit jeune ou vieux, homme ou femme, et même pauvre ou riche.
Ainsi, le succès du blue-jeans aujourd'hui est dû au large public visé, ainsi qu'à sa promotion à travers des figures célèbres du cinéma et de la chanson, deux caractéristiques de l'américanisation.

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