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Reno, NV Announces Blue Genes Jam – World’s Largest Denim Event

Last Wednesday, the city of Reno, Nevada announced it would host the Blue Genes Jam–expected to be the world’s largest denim festival–in October of 2015.

You may be wondering about the spelling of the word “genes”, Reno would like to remind you that jeans were actually invented in their fair city. Reno was the hometown of Jacob Davis, the Latvian tailor who pioneered riveted clothing and shared the patent with Levi Strauss in 1873.

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Jacob Davis (left) and Levi Strauss (right)

Over 140 years later, Reno is paying homage to their indigo son. According to Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitor Center Authority President and CEO Christopher Baum, “The fact that the world’s favorite item of clothing was invented and patented in Reno by Mr. Davis is unknown to most locals, and many denim fans worldwide… but not for long.”

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RSVCA President Christopher Baum announcing Blue Genes Jam

The festival will take place over three days from October 2-4 and feature many other amazing puns and activities:

“Jeaneology,” scholarly presentations on the history of blue jeans and their impact on popular culture; the “Jean Pool,” a retail marketplace for vintage jeans, designer denim and accessories; “Jean Therapy,” special discounts at area health spas; the “Blue Jean Ball,” a banquet and silent auction benefitting the Nevada Humane Society; “Jacob’s Joint,” a pop-up bar and restaurant; “Pop(corn) Culture,” a mini-festival of milestone films in the history of blue jeans, such as James Dean’s “Rebel Without a Cause”; and denim fashion shows by international jean manufacturing companies, both large and small.

Although they’re planning on bringing in some of the biggest names in denim, Blue Genes Jam also hopes to attract a wide variety of boutique selvedge/raw denim makers, specifically naming companies like Jacob Davis, Mister FreedomRogue Territory, imogene + willie, Left Field NYC, and Raleigh Denim Workshop in their press release.

Reno's monument to Jacob Davis outside of his former tailor studio.

Reno’s monument to Jacob Davis outside of his former tailor studio.

This is also just the first of many Blue Genes Jams, Reno plans to keep this as an annual event for the foreseeable future. Denim has its share of smaller gatherings like Denim Bruin and a variety of trade shows, but this is the first major festival devoted exclusively to the fabric we love. Kudos to Reno for stepping up to the plate.


You can find more info on Blue Jeans Jam on their website.