If you consider the sheer prevalence of styles available to us right now, it’s no wonder that throughout the ages jeans have emerged as the ‘wear-anywhere’ essentials, as opposed to the basic, casual, anti-establishment staples they once were perceived to be. From shorts and skirts, to coloured and artfully printed styles (not to mention broken-in jackets, vests, and classic five-pocket styles), denim has progressed into a whole new staggeringly broad dimension.
One can’t discuss such a topic without firstly mentioning Anna Wintour’s debut Vogue cover. It challenged the fashion world’s then norms when she showcased Israeli model Michaela Bercu wearing jeans and a Christian Lacroix jacket in a street styled photo. At the time , the magazine fashion covers had always been full-on ‘fashion’ and this was regarded as opposing major fashion laws, but you ask yourself what happened to the critics. Although you can’t really see the denim in the picture, it clearly spoke volumes about where fashion was headed.
The phenomenon of sagging jeans was appropriated by hip-hop stars in the 1990s, and it became common to see the biggest rappers of the decade (and their fans) wearing boxer-showing baggy jeans. It became even more popular as these rappers ventured into their own clothing labels, or started appearing in campaigns like the one above for ‘90s streetwear label Cross Colours. It featured Death Row legends Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg.
Brooke Shields’ 1980 Calvin Klein ad. This legendary campaign for Calvin Klein Jeans label was quite controversial due to its sexual provocative nature. It might not seem particularly scandalous by today’s standards (you dirty things), but Shields was 15 years old when she featured in the campaign.