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Birthday of the blue jeans

Memorable moments in denim history
On May 20th this year, the blue jean celebrated its 145th birthday. From getting the patent for non-ripping trousers in 1873 to the memorable moment when Britney and Justin rocked double denim at the AMAs, they’ve been through a lot. Together with fashion brand and retailers of plus size tops QUIZ, we celebrate the creation of blue jeans by taking a look at the most iconic moments in blue jean history:

The start of the blue jean
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the moment that the jeans were patented. It was tailor, Jacob Davis who came up with the idea of long-lasting trousers with pockets that wouldn’t rip. He then partnered with Levi Strauss & Co. in 1871 and a patent was obtained on May 20 of 1973.

Denim jeans were originally called “waist overalls” and were designed for labour workers. They then slowly transformed into a wardrobe staple for all. 

Their role in hip-hop
When we entered the mid-1990s and early 2000s, hip-hop was setting the trends. The style was characterised by oversized clothing, including wide-legged baggy jeans. Sagged waists were popular too —revealing the wearer’s underwear as part of the fashion statement. The trend took off amongst hip-hop fans too who paraded their boxers in the street all in the name of style. Thankfully, this iconic era was short-lived.

The blue jean and Kate Moss
When supermodel Kate Moss was only 17 in 1992, she was relatively unknown. That was until she became the star of one of the most iconic adverts of the decade. Moss was photographed topless alongside aspiring rapper at the time, Mark Wahlberg, in her Calvin Klein jeans and media coverage of the commercial exploded. 

That iconic AMAs moment
Couple at the time, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, made denim history when they stepped onto the red carpet in double denim at the 2001 AMAs. Their matching denim-on-denim ensembles were certainly memorable. Britney wore a fitted floor-length denim dress with a sweetheart neckline while her beau at the time wore an all-denim outfit — even complete with a hat made out of the material. Katy Perry and rapper Riff Raff recreated the iconic moment at the MTV VMAs in 2014.

A wardrobe regular
When denim went mainstream, there was no going back. And, today, not much has changed. In fact, the global denim market is worth around $56 billion, 59% of consumers in the US said that they “love or enjoy wearing denim” and the average US consumer has seven pairs of jeans in their wardrobe! The top three leading players in the blue jean industry are Levi Strauss & Co, Wrangler and Diesel.

The most expensive jeans at auction
In the Guinness Book of Records, the most expensive jeans were sold at auction in 2005 for $60,000! They were an original pair of Levi Strauss & Co 501 jeans and were bought via eBay. There is said to be only two or three pairs of authentic Levi’s 501 jeans in existence. The pair that was auctioned were still wearable too — discovered in an abandoned silver mine in 1998. It’s thought that the slurry and mud from the mine was what kept the jeans in good condition.

The biggest pair of jeans
The largest jeans in the world were created in 2009. It was Larbi Bouqamha and students from Institut Arabe de la Mode in Tunisia who created them. The trousers are 50.10metres tall, 36 m wide and weigh an astounding 1 tonne. 1,600m of fabric and 15,000m of thread were used to make the jeans and it took the designer one month to create them with the help of 15 students. When they were put on display in a local football stadium, it took 40 people to move the jeans!

Extreme cut-out denim 
A memorable fad that’s hit stores recently is extreme cut-out jeans. A few jeans have rips beneath the bottom and others have the entire thigh cut out and attached by a thin piece of material. But the latest designs by denim company Carmar is a pair of jeans that are missing the entire leg. Despite the lack of material, this pair of jeans is on sale for $168 — hopefully this isn’t a trend that catches on, although it certainly is memorable!

Becky x
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*This is a sponsored posted written in collaboration with Quiz Clothing