What do you think of when you hear the word "Levi's"? Do you think "mom jeans"? or cool name for a hipster kid? or a Biblical tribe? Well, think no further--I'm talking about Levi Strauss & Co., making denim look good since 1873. Levi Strauss, a German-Jewish immigrant to America, started his company in San Francisco, CA in 1853 selling dry goods (fabric, clothing, combs, purses, hankerchiefs, etc) at his store, Levi Strauss & Co. Obviously since San Fran was the hub of the California Gold Rush, he was in a fine geographical location to make a pretty penny helping all those miners get outfitted for their forays into the wild unknown. Jacob Davis, a tailor out of Reno, Nevada, approached Strauss with a business deal: he wanted to make men's work pants "with metal points of strain for greater strength" and wanted to use the fabric that Strauss sold wholesale, as well as to make Strauss his business partner. In 1873 they received US Patent #139121 for using copper rivets to make the pockets of denim work pants stronger. They began manufacturing "jeans" and the rest, as they say, is history. In the LS&Co. archives in San Francisco they house hundreds of garments from just about every time period, (including the "XX", the oldest pair of 501 jeans in the world, circa 1879). There are also letters to the company from people like Cary Grant, Ronald Reagan, Lady Bird Johnson, Clint Eastwood, Henry Kissinger, and a cowboy from the silent movies--William S. Hart. Back in the day, they also didn't call 'em jeans they called 'em "waist overalls". Ha! You can read more about Levi Strauss & Co.'s rich American heritage by visiting their website.
So, why am I giving you a history lesson? Well, it just so happens that one of my friends is a FINALIST in a contest to be the face and the voice and the, er, "click" of Levi Women's online presence in social media: Meghan Ellie Smith. The contest is to be the next "Levi's Girl", someone who is "socially minded, culturally connected, and will best represent the Levi's Brand". Meghan is all those things and more--she is an incredible artist, a daring fashionista--even when she doesn't try --and she lives in Brooklyn, NY and goes to school at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Y'know, FIT? Yah. Meghan was born and bred in the deep south and now she kicks it with her urbanite pals in the Big City. When she's not in school, she's either painting or frolicking around the subway, streets, or parks making video montages and uploading them to her hilarious blog, Antlered Pigeons.
HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO. Go to FACEBOOK and search Levi's. Then go to the company page, follow the link to vote, watch Meghan's stand-out video and VOTE FOR HER. You can vote once a day, every day, until July 15th. I'm going to do it. You should, too.
If you can't follow all that clicking mumbo jumbo, here's the link.