“I rarely wear new jeans, all the ones I buy are vintage,” says Mara Hoffman, a successful New York designer, in an interview. These words made us smile. We made sure of two things – we love denim and we can’t do without the vintage authenticity.
Did you know that the first fans of jeans were sailors in the 16th century? They were away from home for long periods of time and worked in harsh weather conditions. Often their clothes were torn, easily worn or lost their colour intensity. During a voyage to India, the sailors discovered the solution to the aforementioned problems. They obtained a thick cloth made of cotton, which the Indians dyed using indigo (a natural vegetable dye).
The first jeans were officially created in the glorious maritime republic of Genoa in the 16th century. For the local sailors it was the happy moment to put on trousers suitable for dry and wet weather. The new creation was called “geanos” or “jeanos” (jeans). And that’s how trends are born: while cleaning the deck and the ship, men roll up their legs so that their ankles are visible. To date, we can see many “knuckles” roaming free, in a word – beauty! Here comes the interesting part, namely the way the sailors cleaned their jeans. They threw the nets into the ocean, the jeans were in them of course, and dragged them behind the ship. As the saying goes, they turned on a “hand wash” program. Pretty soon they found that the denim colour was turning white (anyone with faded jeans in their wardrobe should raise their hand). Wow, how vintage!
Later it was France’s turn to start producing its own version of the blue cotton fabric. A different type of material called ‘serge de Nimes’ was used. The truth is they didn’t have the original technology, but those are boring details.
The Gold Rush and the Father of Jeans
Levi Strauss lived in Germany (buying and selling denim from France for a living) until he had to emigrate to the US, where he actually learned to sew. In San Francisco, his intuition told him that gold prospectors, who were everywhere at the time, needed sturdy pants. He offers them his denim product and the big sales become a fact, the love for jeans – stronger than ever! Soon all the workers and farmers were also won over by the convenience, low cost and easy maintenance of denim.
Star rain – from cowboy stories to the catwalk
The year is 1950. Elvis Presley, James Dean and other celebrities started wearing jeans. The message of the trend is “freedom”, and this wins the teenagers who dream of their own rules and bright independence. Colorful patterns and ripped jeans are available.
Nearly twenty summers later, Calvin Klein’s designer jeans were born and became the uniform of youth and the benchmark for personal style.
Jeans, jeans, denim, generally the same meaning but with thousands of variations. In Frea you will find your shape, look and colour. Unique (literally) vintage finds await you.