Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi Strauss & Co. also known as LS&CO or simply Levi's, is a privately held American clothing company known worldwide for its Levi's brand of denim jeans. It was founded in 1853 when Levi Strauss came from Buttenheim, Bavaria, to San Francisco, California to open a west coast branch of his brothers' New York goods business. In 1873, Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis received a U.S. patent to make the first riveted men's work pants out of denim: the first blue jeans. The company briefly experimented (in the 1970s) with a public stock listing, but remains owned and controlled by descendants and relatives of Levi Strauss' four nephews. The company's corporate headquarters is located at Levi's Plaza in San Francisco.
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. The core Levi's was founded in 1873 in San Francisco, specializing in riveted denim jeans and different lines of casual and street fashion. From the early 1960s through the mid-1970s, Levi Strauss experienced significant growth in its business as the more casual look of the 1960s and 1970s ushered in the "blue jeans craze" and served as a catalyst for the brand. Levi's, under the leadership of Walter Haas Jr., Peter Haas, Ed Combs, and Mel Bacharach, expanded the firm's clothing line by adding new fashions, including stone-washed jeans through the acquisition of Great Western Garment Co. (GWG), a Canadian clothing manufacturer, and introducing Permanent Press trousers under the Sta-prest name. The company experienced rapid expansion of its manufacturing capacity from 16 plants to more than 63 plants in the United States from 1964 to 1974 and 23 overseas. They used "pay for performance" manufacturing from the sewing machine operator level up. 2004 saw a sharp decline of GWG in the face of global outsourcing, so the company was closed and the Edmonton manufacturing plant shut down. The Dockers brand, launched in 1986 which is sold largely through department store chains, helped the company grow through the mid-1990s, as denim sales began to fade. Dockers were introduced into Europe in 1996. Levi Strauss attempted to sell the Dockers division in 2004 to relieve part of the company's $2.6 billion outstanding debt. Launched in 2003, Levi Strauss Signature features jeanswear and casualwear. In November 2007, Levi's released a mobile phone in co-operation with ModeLabs. Many of the phone's cosmetic attributes are customisable at the point of purchase. Levi Strauss started the business at the 90 Sacramento Street address in San Francisco. He next moved the location to 62 Sacramento Street then 63 & 65 Sacramento Street. Jacob Davis, a Jewish emigrant from Latvia, was a tailor who frequently purchased bolts of cloth made from denim from Levi Strauss & Co.'s wholesale house. After one of Davis' customers kept purchasing cloth to reinforce torn pants, he had an idea to use copper rivets to reinforce the points of strain, such as on the pocket corners and at the base of thebutton fly. Davis did not have the required money to purchase a patent, so he wrote to Strauss suggesting that they go into business together. After Levi accepted Jacob's offer, on May 20, 1873, the two men received U.S. Patent 139,121 from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patented rivet was later incorporated into the company's jean design and advertisements. Contrary to an advertising campaign suggesting that Levi Strauss sold his first jeans to gold miners during the California Gold Rush (which peaked in 1849), the manufacturing of denim overalls only began in the 1870s. The company then created their first pair of Levis 501 Jeans in the 1890s,...
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