Jeans became a hot item with the youth in the 1950s and early 1960s. In the 1950s, jeans were popularized and glamorized by James Dean and Marlon Brando in movies such as Rebel without a Cause, and Blue Denim. These movies presented rebellious youth dressed up in blue jeans, black leather motorbike jackets and white T-shirts.
The 1960s and 1970s are characterized by a number of social movements, including the sexual revolution and fight for equal rights. Jeans became the uniform for college students, hippies and anyone else who identified as part of the “counter-culture.”
Through another societal shift, jeans became symbolic of independence, freedom and a move away from the traditions of the past. On top of that, denim was something that both men and women could wear, making it a sartorial symbol of gender equality. “Levi’s has always been a company built on strong values and we pride ourselves on being pioneers in the fight for equal rights for all,” Karyn Hillman, Chief Product Officer of Levi’s, told Fashionista.
German countess, supermodel and actress Vera von Lehndorff, known professionally as Veruschka, wearing a denim jacket and jeans, September 1970. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)
A model wears buttoned flared trousers with a matching waistcoat-styled top at a preview of the “Miss Levi” spring collection, Sonesta Tower Hotel, London. 14th September 1971. (Photo by Mike Lawn/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
A woman wearing cut-off jeans and a halter-neck sun top in St Tropez, 1972. (Photo by Roy Jones/Getty Images)
A visitor to St Tropez wearing star patterned flared jeans, 1972. (Photo by R. Jones/Getty Images)
Hell’s Angels relaxing at the Bardney Pop Festival in Lincolnshire. 29th May 1972. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
A woman standing next to a teddy-boy sells leather belts at the Rock n’ Roll Festival, Wembley Stadium, 1972. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
English actress Jane Birkin enjoys a sun-soaked holiday on the Cote d’Azur, 16th July 1973. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A woman stands confidently on the banks of a river, sporting a flared denim suit over a white polo-neck jumper. 27th February 1974. (Photo by Chaloner Woods/Getty Images)
A young woman models a pair of hot pants, 1975. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)