While everyone may have worn a pair of Levi’s jeans at some point in life, they may or may not know about Levi Strauss Day on February 26. A day dedicated, of course, to the founder of the jeans brand that we all love — Levi Strauss. No wonder it is celebrated on his birthday. Levi Strauss & Co. is the first company to make blue jeans. The history of this iconic brand spans over two centuries.
History of Levi Strauss Day
Born in 1829 on February 26, Levi Strauss founded his San Francisco-based company in 1853. Strauss was born in Germany, before moving to the U.S. at the age of 18 in 1847 with his mother and siblings. He joined his brothers In New York in their wholesale dry goods business called J. Strauss Brother & Co. He sold his brothers’ supplies there before becoming an American citizen in January of 1853.
Later that year, Strauss opened his wholesale business as Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco. Strauss sold merchandise from his brothers in New York City. These included clothing, bags, napkins, bedding, and even combs. He moved on to tents before getting to jeans. One of his customers, Jacob W. Davis, went into business with Strauss to produce blue jeans, making him an inventor of the riveted denim pants in 1871, before patenting the style of pants in 1873.
But, how did Davis get in the picture? Davis was a tailor himself, who came up with the design after a request by a lady that she needed some solid working pants for her woodcutter husband. He produced pants from the denim purchased from the Levi Strauss shop, using copper rivets to strengthen the stitching. This trendy new garment traveled through word of mouth, increasing demand to a point where Davis was up to capacity and unable to handle the demand and needed to patent his design. Strauss stepped in financially; he helped Davis patent the jeans and issue the license, which finally made them business partners — and successful ones at that!
Levi Strauss Day timeline
Entrepreneur Levi Strauss is born on February 26.
After becoming a U.S. citizen, Strauss establishes Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco.
Jacob W. Davis designs riveted denim pants, and Levi Strauss makes it a business.
The most worn item of clothing, the denim jeans, is patented.
The great inventor Strauss passes on.
Levi Strauss Day FAQs
Does Levi Strauss & Co. do charity?
Every May, the brand holds Community Days, donating thousands of hours to helping charitable organizations. They run community projects where the employees get involved to carry on the legacy that Strauss left behind.
Does Levi Strauss & Co. practice sustainability?
The brand has reduced the amount of water consumed while manufacturing products. They also recycle most of the water, reducing water usage by a hefty 96%.
Is Levi Strauss one person?
Born in Buttenheim, Levi Strauss was originally named
Löb Strauß and was born to his father Hirsch Strauss, and mother Rebecca Haas in 1829. His business partner was Jacob W. Davis from 1871 onwards.
Levi Strauss Day Activities
He is an example of living the American Dream. No matter where one comes from, one can make it big in every way.
Wear the jeans
The jeans for any occasion look great with everything — from tees to shirts to jackets and blazers, as well as most colors. Here’s yet another occasion to wear your favorite Levi’s jeans.
Donate to charity
The charitable Strauss had a foundation; he made donations to orphanages and helped the needy. We could all learn from that and do the same on this day.
5 Interesting Facts About Levi Strauss
Strauss died in 1902 and was worth about six million dollars — 147.5 million dollars in 2019.
Strauss went to the Reform branch of Judaism, and he helped build Congregation Emanu-El.
In 1952, he founded the Levi Strauss Foundation which is still active even today.
The Levi Strauss Museum is in Buttenheim, in the house he was born.
Honored him in 1994
He was honored by the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Why We Love Levi Strauss Day
He was philanthropic
He came a long way after moving to the U.S. and worked hard to become successful. He used his riches to make donations, start a foundation and even establish a synagogue.
He was inspirational
Not only did he give back to those less fortunate, but his humble beginnings are also inspiring to everyone in the fashion world and otherwise. We love this!
He was revolutionary
He, along with Davis, gave us the globally loved jeans we all know and wear today. Who knew a simple pair of blue jeans could go such a long way?
Levi Strauss Day dates