Levi Strauss & Co - Lynn Downey



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Levi Strauss & Co
Lynn Downey
Paperback / softback
Arcadia Publishing
UK Publication Date

When Bavarian immigrant Levi Strauss opened his wholesale dry goods warehouse on the San Francisco waterfront in 1853, he likely had no inkling that his business would become one of the world's largest clothing companies. Levi Strauss & Co. started with imported clothing, bedding, and notions to supply the many small stores serving the Gold Rush and the expanding American West. By 1873, he and partner Jacob Davis invented the very first blue jeans, which were soon worn by working men from Los Angeles to Laramie. Strauss parlayed his business acumen into social progress by giving back to his community and embedding a company culture committed to positively impacting society. In this spirit, the Levi Strauss Foundation was created after World War II, formalizing the philanthropic work started by Strauss himself a century earlier. All the while, the company has evolved with successive generations of family owners, expanding product lines to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers around the world.

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Using vintage photographs, advertisements, and artifacts from the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives, company historian Lynn Downey tells this firm's riveting story from 1853 through today. From the rise of the dude ranch to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Levi Strauss & Co. continues to influence global culture with innovative products and industry-leading corporate-citizenship initiatives.

Title: Levi Strauss historian speaks at Museum Monday

Publisher: Wickenburg Sun

Author: Staff Writer

Date: 11/20/2008

The first corporate historian hired for Levi Strauss & Co. will speak at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum Monday (Nov. 24) at 5 p.m.

Lynn Downey was hired as the first historian for Levi & Strauss Co. in 1989, after receiving her master's degree in library and information science from the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in archives administration.

Downey manages the Levi & Strauss Corporate Archives in San Francisco, which includes clothing, marketing materials, photographs and artifacts.

One archival item in particular will be of interest to Wickenburg residents: a pair of Levi's jeans purchased by a miner named Homer Campbell at Brayton's Commercial Co. in Wickenburg in 1917. The fascinating story of how this pair of jeans found its way to the Levi Strauss & Co. archives will be revealed in her lecture this Monday.

Downey has published a number of books, articles and book reviews on historical subjects, including "This is a Pair of Levi's Jeans" (1995), and "Levi Strauss & Co., a corporate history for Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series" (2007). Her next project is a biography of company founder Levi Strauss.

Downey is the media spokesperson for company history and has appeared on numerous global television shows, including "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Today". She frequently goes on press tours with vintage products for fashion journalists. She is also a regular speaker at the Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising and the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Downey's presentation begins at 5 p.m. at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum and is free to the public.

Country of Publication
South Carolina
Number of Pages

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