It took decades for Levi’s pants to make it to your closet. At first, they were regarded only as work clothes. But in the 1930s, Western movies became popular, and suddenly cowboys were cool. More important, cowboys wore jeans—at least in the movies.
In the 1950s, Hollywood gave jeans a bad reputation. When movies came out about motorcycle gangs and violence in schools, all the young troublemakers wore the same clothes: jeans and leather jackets. Before long, schools started banning denim pants.
Ultimately, it didn’t matter: Teens liked wearing clothes their parents hated. In 1958, one article said that 90 percent of young people owned jeans. And they wore them almost everywhere.
Today, the average American owns seven pairs of jeans. And the company that started it all is doing pretty well: Levi’s sells nearly $5 billion worth of clothes a year. Now that’s a gold rush!