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Denim Declared the Official Fabric of California

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In a landslide victory that will please denimheads everywhere, last week the California Legislature passed a bill (59-3) that declared denim as the state’s official fabric.

The name of the bill, A.B. 501, pays homage to Levi’s original cut. While it might be hard to argue that any other textile from California has been as globally influential as denim, the language of the bill is both convincing and poetic.

“The history of denim jeans parallels the history of California. At first, jeans were designed as practical working clothes. They eventually became a symbol of American culture. Jeans have been worn by gold miners, cowboys, farm workers, rock stars, beatniks, hippies, and people of all walks of life. Jeans were featured in the first Hollywood silent films and became an iconic costume in a variety of genres, especially westerns and war films,” the bill reads.

More than its cultural legacy, the bill points out that California is responsible for about 75 percent of the premium denim jeans sold throughout the world, employing more than 200,000 people in Southern California alone.

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