New Documentary Explores Complex History of Jeans in America – WWD

TRUE BLUE: For many, denims are synonymous with American vogue, and an upcoming PBS documentary will discover the evolution of the well-worn staple.

American Experience’s “Riveted: The History of Jeans” will premiere on Feb. 7, marking its first fashion-centric documentary. Tracing the garment’s evolution, this system will spotlight how denims have traces to slavery, the Wild West, the Civil Rights motion, hippies, hip-hop, excessive vogue and past.

The hourlong documentary has been written, directed and produced by Anna Lee Strachan and Michael Bicks. Cameo George has acted as govt producer.

Advance materials about this system referenced Levi Strauss making a fortune promoting denims to the Forty-Niners throughout the California Gold Rush and famous how 50 years prior enslaved individuals in the American South wore a coarser precursor to denim that was often known as “slave cloth.” The program may also discover how Elizabeth Lucas, the daughter of an 18th-century colonial governor, sparked the financial system in the South with indigo manufacturing. “Left out of this narrative are the West African enslaved people” whose know-how in rising the indigo plant, in addition to processing and dyeing with it, had been introduced with them, in keeping with this system’s notes.


While Strauss typically is credited with inventing blue denims, “Riveted” highlights how Jacob Davis strengthened pants with copper rivets, which made them sturdy for almost all of American laborers. Dude ranch tradition and the youth motion of the ’50s (together with Marlon Brando’s 501-wearing methods in “The Wild One”) are additionally in the combination.

Woman wearing Western cowgirl attire including blue jeans. 1940-50s.

Woman carrying Western cowgirl apparel together with blue denims in the mid-1900s.
Alamy Stock Photo/Courtesy of AMEX Riveted

All in all, there are dozens of firms featured in the documentary stretching from the late Nineties similar to Can’t Bust’em, Can’t Rip’em, in addition to Blackbear, Dubbleware, Duz Fit and extra, in keeping with a PBS spokeswoman.


More acquainted manufacturers like Wrangler, Lee, Gloria Vanderbilt, Calvin Klein, Sergio Valente and Tommy Hilfiger will get some air time too. Hilfiger’s namesake founder shall be featured, the PBS spokeswoman stated. “Riveted” may also debut by way of PBS’ website and app on Feb.7.

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