Yeah, I came to that conclusion after watching the BBC 3 documentary “Secrets of the Superbrands” (Here: http://youtu.be/t0DOEK0uZZo ). Pretty cool documentary about the fashion industry and the power of brands, etc. Anyways, they told the story of the origins of the Levis brand and how it started as a way to salvage canvas from the Civil War into work clothes for miners.
And thus was born the ubiquitous blue jeans.
I was encumbered by an epiphany right there and then as I realized that that’s just how the SUV started and evolved! The parallels are there: The original CJ Jeep started as a way to use the Jeep after World War 2, just like Levis jeans after the Civil War. Mind you, the Jeep didn’t start as the fun-loving off-roader it later evolved into, but rather as a work horse. In fact, they didn’t even know for sure what the Jeep was good for, so they were trying to make it into some sort of farm tractor/utility conveyance.
In the future, we’ll plow shopping mall parking lots!
But as it so happens with many new things, The People had a different opinion, so the Jeep became first an off-roader and then, as it evolved into our beloved SUVs, it became first a means to convey an attitude and an image of rugged, active life, and then, the fashion statement it is today. The jeans followed a similar path. After being solely work clothes until somewhere around mid-20th century, suddenly a new type of human being, the teenager, began to wear them, not for work but, you guessed it, to express an attitude.
Today, $100 fashion-brand jeans are as far removed from work clothes as $70.000 luxo SUVs are from the humble farm tool origins of the 4×4.