New Book: Global Denim


On any given day nearly half the world’s population is wearing blue jeans. The market is simply vast and the iconic garment is unrivaled in its popularity. Designer Yves Saint Laurent is famed for saying ‘I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.’ A pretty concise explanation but there has until now, never been a serious attempt to understand the causes, nature and consequences of denim as the global garment of the modern world.

New book, Global Denim takes up that challenge with gusto. It gives clear, if surprising, explanations for why this is the case, challenging the accepted history of jeans and showing why the reasons cannot be commercial.

Editors Daniel Miller (Professor of Material Culture at University College London and the author of many books, including Anthropology and the Individual and The Comfort of Things) and Sophie Woodward (Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester and author of Why Women Wear What they Wear) have released the book with Berg and it is widely available online and in good book stores.

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