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Lee Jeans

History of Lee Jeans

Lee Jeans are one of the bedrocks of American denim designers and producers. The company has been in business since the late 19th Century and is currently celebrating 125 years in the fashion industry. Founded in 1889 in Salina, Kansas, the clothing company began trading under the name of Lee Mercantile Company. Headed by the creative mind of Henry David Lee the company original produced a range of denim jackets and dungarees. The company experienced its first major growth landmark in 1913 with the introduction of their Union-All work jumpsuit. This important step forward was followed up by the overall in 1920.


In the following years of that decade Lee introduced the first zipper flies for use in their jeans and garments. The 1930s and 1940s saw Lee Jeans continue to expand and soon they were named as the leading maker of work overalls in the whole of the USA. 1954 saw a major change of operations for Lee when they decided to move into the casual clothes market. This decision paid off in dividends as their intensive expansion saw many new creative ideas begin to reach a wider audience and customer base. During the 1960s the company branched out across 81 different countries. In 1969 the company was purchased by VF Corporation. As one of the brands under the largest apparel corporation in the world, Lee enjoys a reputation for a truly global consumer appeal. The 60's also saw the very first Lee television advertisement which focused on their concentration on western style clothing.


The 1970's saw a further switch away from work wear and industrial style clothing into more fashion conscious designs. An all new fashion fit for women was introduced under the name of Ms.Lee. A line of youth clothing was also brought out. 1996 saw one of the company's proudest achievements with the launch of Lee National Denim Day. Part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the day has raised over $75 million to help fund breast cancer research and raise awareness of the disease and possible treatments. Today the brand is dedicated to creating ever more new styles and features into the fiercely competitive denim market.

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