Levis Jeans Label History

by Melanie Hammond ; Updated September 28, 2017

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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.

Our Everyday Video

Brought to you by LEAFtv
Brought to you by LEAFtv

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.