Fashion Firsts



1470
To hide her pregnancy, Queen Juana of Portugal wore the first hoop skirt.
1477
Anne of Burgundy became the first woman to receive a diamond engagement ring. It was given to her by Maximilian I of Germany.
1874
Levi Strauss begins selling blue jeans for $13.50 per dozen
1896
Brooks Brothers introduces buttoned-down collars
1913
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel opens a boutique in Deauville, France. Her chic and comfortable knit suits usher in the modern era of women's fashion.
1916
Sneakers are first made in America by the U.S. Rubber Company. They were called Keds.
1923
The U.S. attorney general declares it is legal for women to wear pants.
1926
Knee-length hemlines mark a new high in women's dresses.
1922
The first “flesh-colored” stockings are sold for women whose skin color is pinkish-beige. It was another twenty-five years before stockings for brown- and black-skinned women were available.
1930
Tennis star Rene Lacoste manufactures a tennis shirt that features an embroidered crocodile. It's believed to be the first time a designer logo appears on clothing.
1935
Bras are made with both cup and band sizes.
1938
Nylon stockings are invented. They go on sale in 1940.
1940
Shoulder bags for women first appeared as part of service uniforms worn during World War II.
1946
The bikini bathing suit debuts at a fashion show in Paris.
1947
Christian Dior's glamorous “New Look” features tight waists, stiff petticoats and billowing skirts, ending an era of simple, war-era attire.
1950
Kiss-proof lipstick hits the shelves.
1955
Jeans become a big hit with teens after the release of the film Rebel Without a Cause.
1955
London designer Mary Quant opens Bazaar, a boutique on Carnaby Street. Her miniskirts, tights and crocheted tops define the new “youth culture” look.
1960s
Fun furs of acrylic and polyester are made to look like real fur.
1960s
Paper clothes are made for the public. They are disposable and used for underwear and children's clothing.
1967
San Francisco's “hippie look” catches on throughout the country.
1969
The Gap opens in San Francisco
1972
Nike begins to manufacture sneakers.
1977
The release of the film Saturday Night Fever sparks the disco inferno. Polyester leisure suits, pant suits, and shirts fly off stores shelves.
1978
Gloria Vanderbilt introduces the first designer jeans.
1980s
The wrinkled look is introduced. Wrinkles are permanently pressed into fabrics and shirts, vests, blouses, jackets, and pants.
1990s
Counterfeit clothing is made by computer, producing brand-name fakes. Polo, Guess?, Gap, Banana Republic, DKNY, and Disney are all copied.
1995
“Casual Fridays” become popular at U.S. companies. Companies allow employees to replace suits with more casual attire, such as khakis, sweaters and polo shirts.
2000s
Celebrites such as P. Diddy and Jennifer Lopez develop and sell their own line of clothing.

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