The Evolution of Denim by S/B/
28 Sep 2023
For most, denim is today considered a wardrobe staple. A sturdy cotton fabric known for its durability and versatility, the fabric has, since its invention, been at turns popular, divisive, and even revolutionary. A symbol of Americana, and of rebellion, a quality pair of jeans are now considered a wardrobe essential. From skinny jeans like S/B/ Anna High Rise to looser fitting staples like our Ava Cropped Wide Leg Jean, denim has an enduring appeal predicted to last for many more years.
Origins and Early Days
The origins of denim can be traced back to the 18th century, where a strong cotton fabric called "serge de Nîmes" was produced in the French city of Nîmes. It was this fabric that would lay the foundation for the rugged denim we know today. Yet, it wasn't until the late 19th century that denim would truly come into its own.
Birth of Denim Jeans
The iconic denim jeans as we know them today were born out of necessity. In the mid-1800s, tailor Jacob W. Davis and his customer Levi Strauss created the first pair of denim jeans with rivets at stress points, revolutionising workwear with reinforced fabric. This ingenious design transformed denim outfits into coveted durable attire, tailored for miners and laborers.
Denim's Fit and Style Revolution
The 20th century brought about significant changes in denim style and fit. Denim jeans evolved from utilitarian workwear to a symbol of youth culture rebellion. The 1950s saw the rise of blue jeans as an emblem of individuality, embraced by icons like James Dean and Marlon Brando. Denim's association with freedom and nonconformity was solidified.
Denim Ban in Communist Russia
While denim was gaining popularity in Western cultures, it faced a unique challenge in communist Russia. Denim, associated with Western capitalism, was banned due to its perceived ideological conflict with communism. The ban on denim jeans, a quintessential piece of Americana, symbolised more than just fashion; it reflected the divisions of the Cold War era. Denim, often referred to as blue jeans, became synonymous with the spirit of Americana. It represented freedom, opportunity, and the pioneering spirit of the new world.
Changing Reputation and Styles
Denim's reputation continued to evolve, marked by changing styles and trends. From wide leg jeans that embraced a more relaxed fit to the iconic skinny jeans that dominated the 2000s, denim remained a canvas for self-expression. Denim shorts and denim skirts further diversified the available options, allowing for greater choice.
The Rebirth of Denim
Denim's revival in recent years speaks to its timeless appeal. The comeback of wide leg jeans, low-rise jeans, and various denim styles for both men and women shows the fabric’s adaptability to changing trends. Finding your most flattering fit has becoming something of an artform.
Denim's journey is one of evolution, adaptation, and freedom. From its inception as durable workwear to its emergence as a symbol of Americana and self-expression, denim has transcended time, borders, shifting trends, and even bans. Quality jeans are a winter packing list essential, and premium denim has become a SABA wardrobe icon. A long way from its rebellious origins, today denim is considered the very foundation of a smart casual wardrobe.
Shop the Outfit
+ QUICK ADD
+ QUICK ADD
+ QUICK ADD
+ QUICK ADD