History & Timeline

Inventing blue jeans was just the start of how Levi Strauss pioneered a brand for true originals. Around every bend of the Levi’s® and Dockers® stories, innovation and quality are at the heart of everything we do. Here’s how we’ve made history with you…


1853

1853

Levi Strauss & Co. Founded

Bavarian-born Levi Strauss moves to Gold Rush era San Francisco to open a dry goods business. He sold clothes, boots and other goods to the small retail stores of the American West.

1898

1898

Heroes in Khaki

The United States Army adopts Khaki to outfit soldiers during the Spanish-American War.

1902

1902

A Philanthropic Spirit

When Levi Strauss passes away in September, his four nephews take over the business and carry out his numerous bequests to Bay Area charities serving children and the poor.

1909

1909

Levi Strauss & Co. brings Khakis to market

Khakis go to market under the Sunset label. They’re designed for dressier occasions, and are available in olive and tan.

1916

1916

Khaki under new label

Levi’s® takes Khakis under their “Levi Strauss Make” label.

1922

1922

Khaki and Women

Khaki caters to women with hiking and outing clothes by Levi Strauss & Co.

1927

1927

two horse brand

Khaki pants are manufactured under the now famous Levi Strauss & Co. Two Horse Brand woven label.

1954

1954

Levi’s® Casuals line

Setting a post-war fashion trend, military Khakis go domestic again with twill Khakis and other styles going to market.

1960

1960

Ahead of the Times

Levi Strauss & Co. opens its first factory in the South. Located in Blackstone, Virginia, the company insists that the facility be integrated at a time when desegregation had not yet been mandated by federal law.

1985

1985

Far East Inspiration

Merchandiser Susan Kilgore discovers “Dockers Pants” in Hong Kong – though they were actually made in Japan.  She brings a few pairs back to the States.

1986

1986

Dockers® brand official launch

Levi Strauss and Co. officially launches Dockers® pants in the U.S.

1989

1989

looking to the future

The company's 150+ year history is captured in the Levi Strauss & Co. archives, located at headquarters in San Francisco.

1991

1991

Terms of Engagement

Levi Strauss & Co. creates the first comprehensive set of standards for contractors worldwide, called Terms of Engagement, to help promote fair labor standards and workers’ rights.

1991

1991

Dockers® on primetime

Dockers® reaches the zenith of pop culture, appearing on Seinfeld. “100% Cotton Dockers.  If they’re not Dockers, they’re just pants!”

1992

1992

Dockers® hops the pond

Capturing the success of Dockers® in the U.S., the brand is launched internationally.

1995

1995

“Nice Pants”

An award winning U.S television campaign introduces the tagline “Nice Pants”.

2000

2000

Move over denim

Khakis start giving jeans a run for their money in Europe – Dockers® is the #1 Khaki pant specialty brand.

2001

2001

Dockers® in Asia

The Dockers® brand launches in Asia with its “Nice Pants” campaign.

2011

2011

Dockers® launches the Alpha Khaki

Vanity Fair’s October 2011 issue sites the Dockers® Alpha Khaki line as the “it” pants for Fall.  Critically acclaimed by style editors and spotted on celebrities around the world, the Alpha Khaki is a slimmer fit born when khaki met denim – The pant that convinced all that Dockers® aren’t just for your Dad.

2011

2011

Alexander Wang + Dockers® = GQ Best New Menswear Designer in America

The Dockers® brand collaborated with GQ’s Best New Menswear Designer in America competition.  Six design houses produced their own take on the Dockers® classic khaki design including Riviera Club, Miller’s Oath, Warriors of Radness, Patrick Ervell, Michael Bastian… and the winning-designer Alexander Wang.  Sold in Bloomingdale’s stores and Dockers.com.

2014

2014

Dockers® LAUNCHES ON-THE-GO

Life moves pretty fast, so we decided to catch up: thus the Signature On-the-Go and Pacific On-the-Go khakis were born. With a hidden zipped smartphone pocket, lightweight moisture-wicking mesh internals, and a super-soft jersey waistband, these are truly the smartest khakis ever made.

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