Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&CO) is a privately held clothing company known worldwide for its Levi's brand of denim jeans. It was founded in 1853 when Levi Strauss came from Buttenheim, Franconia, (Kingdom of Bavaria) to San Francisco, California to open a west coast branch of his brothers' New York dry goods business. Although the company began producing denim overalls in the 1870s, modern jeans were not produced until the 1920s. The company briefly experimented (in the 1970s) with employee ownership and a public stock listing, but remains owned and controlled by descendants and relatives of Levi Strauss' four nephews. Organization
Levi Strauss & Co. is a worldwide corporation organized into three geographic divisions: Levi Strauss Americas (LSA), based in the San Francisco headquarters; Levi Strauss Europe, Middle East and Africa (LSEMA), based in Brussels; and Asia Pacific Division (APD), based in Singapore. The company employs a staff of approximately 10,500 people worldwide, and owns and develops a few brands. Levi's, the main brand, was founded in 1873 in San Francisco, specializing in riveted denim jeans and different lines of casual and street fashion.
Levi's, under the leadership of Jay Walter Haas Sr., Peter Haas Sr., Paul Glasco and George P. Simpkins Sr., expanded the firm's clothing line by adding new fashions and models, including stone-washed jeans through the acquisition of Great Western Garment Co. (GWG), a Canadian clothing manufacturer. GWG was responsible for the introduction of the modern "stone washing" technique, still in use by Levi Strauss.
Mr. Simpkins is credited with the company's record paced expansion of its manufacturing capacity from fewer than 16 plants to more than 63 plants in the United States from 1964 through 1974. Perhaps most impressive, however, was Levi's expansion under Simpkins was accomplished without a single unionized employee as a result of Levi's' and the Haas families' strong stance on human rights and...
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