Levis Jeans Label History

by Melanie Hammond

Levi Strauss & Co. is a privately held apparel manufacturing company founded in San Francisco, Calif., in 1853. According to Levi Strauss & Co., the Levi’s brand is recognized worldwide and Levi’s products are sold in more than 110 countries, employing more than 11,000 people as of 2008.

Founder

Eighteen-year-old Levi Strauss emigrated from Bavaria to New York in 1847. He gained citizenship in 1853, after which he moved to San Francisco to establish a wholesale business.

Partnership

In 1872, Jacob Davis approached Levi Strauss about a process he invented to reinforce the pockets on men's pants, which he called riveting.

Patent

The two men received a patent for the process in 1873 and started selling pants together, which were originally referred to as waist overalls. The patent would expire in 1880.

Patch

In 1886, Levis Strauss & Co. began to use the patch featuring two horses pulling a pair of denim pants in opposite directions, meant to symbolize how sturdy the pants are.

Trademark

In 1928, the word “Levi’s” became a registered trademark. As of 2009, Levi's still can only be used to describe pants made by Levi Strauss & Co.

Red Tab

In 1936, Levi Strauss & Co. first began to sew a red tab onto the pocket of their denim pants, to distinguish the Levi's brand from imitators.

About the Author

Hammond earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, including concentrations in retail and promotions, from Southern Illinois University in December 2006, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Illinois University in May 2009. Hammond was editor of Signal, a radio programming guide, and contributor to Previews, a television programming guide, both publications of WSIU Public Broadcasting.