Lee Jeans have remained a people’s favorite choice for over 125 years. The combination of a simple tee with a stylish “Lee” is unparalleled. Apart from its premium quality jeans, Lee is famous for shirts, polo t-shirts, graphic tees, jackets, and sweatshirts. However, it wasn’t sheer luck that turned this revolutionary denim idea into a household name.
There’s ample history and infinite hard work behind it all. So, to pay our reverence to the legendary Lee brand and understand the true passion, perseverance, and planning that goes into building a fashion tycoon, let us get into the yesteryears of the brand!
Foundation And Timeline Of The Legendary Lee Jeans
Dreams are seen by all, but very few turn them into reality. One of these rare human beings that was able to execute this is the astute Henry David Lee - founder and shaper of Lee Jean's history.
Establishing Lee As An Organization
The name Lee turned into an organization in the year 1889 when Henry David Lee and four business partners built the H.D. Lee Mercantile Company in Kansas, United States of America. They initially established a dry goods and groceries store. Under the brand name Lee, several other ventures were opened until the year 1911.
Entry Into The Fashion World
The founders of H.D. Lee Mercantile Company saw a demand for overalls and workwear amongst the working class of America in 1911. To fulfill this demand and try out a possible future in fashion, the Lee Jeans brand launched high-quality denim overalls called Bib Overalls. These multi-functional overalls with a button fly were just the beginning for this company.
In 1913, Lee invented the iconic one-piece coverall called the Union-Alls. Inspired by a chauffeur fixing a car, H.D. Lee developed the design of the coverall to protect the wearer both below and above the waist.
Flawless Advertising and Marketing Uplifted The Brand
To connect with its customers and promote the brand from a functional perspective, the company created Buddy Lee. Buddy Lee was a mascot wearing the overalls of the brand and was proudly displayed in apparel stores across the USA. Today, Buddy Lee has become an honored collectible and item of nostalgia.
But, When Did Lee Jeans Come Out?
After phenomenally expanding and supplying apparel for workforces and the military, Lee introduced their first jeans in 1924. It was a heavy 13 oz pair of jeans called the cowboy pants or the 101 with a U-shape saddle crotch and button fly. These jeans majorly served cowboys and rodeo riders who were the future of the jeans-wearing industry across the globe.
An innovative zip-fly was added to the cowboy jeans for extra comfort. Promotional and modern changes were done across the years, such as leather logo patches, “Lazy S” labels, etc.
The Lee Logo History
Like every other brand, Lee experimented with several logo designs. The brand went from yellow, red, and black to a monochromatic syllable. The logo we know today was designed in 2016 for the international market. It features a smooth uneven “Lee” written in black, and the three letters are connected, depicting the rawness and boldness of the brand.
Lee Jeans Brand - Today
The history of Lee Jeans showcases an exceptional rise in demand and phenomenal innovations in the brand during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Lee became the pop culture icon, adored by individuals of differing ages.
Lee Jeans is exemplified today for its denim craftsmanship, unmatched innovation, and impeccable style.