A man destined to have a profound and lasting impact on the way we dress was born in Germany on this date in 1829. His name was Levi Strauss, and he developed blue jeans. Coming to America, Strauss settled in San Francisco to help outfit gold rush prospectors. He established a successful business around a tough, riveted garment called “denim waist overalls” and became a widely admired member of the community. Today, blue jeans — or Levi’s — are part of everything from farming to high fashion and are found in just about everyone’s wardrobe. Each year in the U.S., we spend $215 billion on clothing, which works out to nearly $700 for each of us.
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