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The Stretched and the Distressed – Denim History pt. 12

At least 99% of denim on the market today isn’t raw, it’s been stonewashed, lasered, or sandblasted into what mimics an authentically worn pair of jeans. But this wasn’t always the case, pre-distressed denim is a relatively recent phenomenon, which we’re going to be getting into how the fashion market took over denim and they took the indigo with them. Learn all about Jackie Kennedy’s favorite denim brand, an infamous Calvin Klein ad that was banned in a dozen markets, and how the denim industry mined so much pumice stone it caused widespread environmental protests on our penultimate episode of Denim History.

This episode is brought to you by Heddels+, if you’d like more discounts, more giveaways, and more of the Heddels content you love, check out our new membership program launching soon. Click here to be informed as soon as it’s live! If you have any questions you’d like us to answer, topics to cover, or people to talk to, email us at [email protected]. Listen on the embedded player above or on the following platforms:


  • Edwin Europe. “Edwin Europe – History.” Copyright © 2009 Edwin Europe, All Rights Reserved, 18 May 2009, web.archive.org/web/20111112105814/http://www.edwin-europe.com/history.php.
  • Ghioto, Gary. 2000. “Mining the Sacred Mountains.” E: The Environmental Magazine 11, no. 1: 15. MasterFILE Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed August 8, 2013)
  • “Farewell Fiorucci – Inventor of Skinny Jeans | Fashion | Phaidon.” Phaidon, Phaidon, www.phaidon.com/agenda/fashion/articles/2015/july/21/farewell-fiorucci-inventor-of-skinny-jeans. Accessed 12 Feb. 2021.
  • Miller, Meg. “RIP Elio Fiorucci, The Designer Of Stretch Denim.” Fast Company, 21 July 2015, www.fastcompany.com/3048885/rip-elio-fiorucci-the-designer-of-stretch-denim.
  • Stu Pollard. “CALVIN KLEIN JEANS – ‘Brooke Shields – Nothing’ (80’s Commercial).” YouTube, uploaded by Stu Pollard, 12 Jan. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD3zMCWwQeo&ab_channel=StuPollard.
  • Lead image credit Fiorucci denim and model Donna Jordan

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