Levi Strauss & Co. and Corduroy Have a History

Levi Strauss & Co.
April 12, 2018

At Levi Strauss & Co. we’ve worked with denim for nearly 150 years—blue jeans, jackets and other denim duds. But it may come as a surprise that we’ve crafted corduroy for almost as long – over a century, in fact.

Our 1901 Spring and Summer Catalog contained corduroy, and by the 1920s, it was on the cover of our price lists. Here are a few more highlights about our cool corduroy clothing:

  • We have never been a brand to miss a trend. During the heyday of the corduroy craze of the 1960s and ‘70s, the Levi’s® brand ran with a slew of corduroy offerings that were instantly embraced and catapulted sales. We launched SUPER CORDS, SLIM FIT Sherpa-lined Trucker style corduroy jackets, STA-PREST permanent press cords and our Lot 911 Californians, all of which quickly became some of our top sellers.

  • Soon a worldwide fashion phenomenon, by the late 1960s most of the Levi’s® corduroy pants sold around the world were produced at LS&Co.’s Marysville, Tennessee factory.
  • In the mid-1960s, Playboy magazine was really gaining mainstream acceptance in the greater zeitgeist. As a brand long known for its place at the center of culture, we ran a full-page Corduroy White Levi’s® advertisement in the September 1964 issue.

  • By the 1980s, the Levi’s® took to the airways with a series of animated “Levi’s® Jeans and Cords” commercials featuring various quirky creatures and scenarios where our jeans were present. The ads pushed a line of boys’ youthwear cords.
  • Levi’s® corduroy was woven back into the fold in the 1990s through its SilverTab® line, which included wide wale corduroy and fits like “Baggy,” “Flare,” and “Hipster Bootcut.”

Want to keep up with the LS&Co. Archives and other cool LS&Co. heritage news? Follow Tracey on Twitter, @TraceyPanek, and stay tuned to Unzipped!