As the 19th century rolled into the 20th, the H.D. Lee Mercantile company produced a range of tough workwear for industrial America. Producing hardwearing bib overalls, Lee was there to provide the work force of the US with durable clothing for comfort and protection.
The decades progressed, and Lee workwear produced jackets and jeans, expanding their range of denim clothing. In the mid 1920's, Lee produced their trademarked "Cowboy pants", hitting on a design that became an instant success. This image of the classic cowboy look captured the imagination of the public then, as it still does today.
Lee jeans have always been at the forefront of innovative design, creating the Jelt denim. By twisting the yarn tighter, Lee created tougher denim and more durable jeans, resisting wear and tear over longer use. These new developments made Lee the jeans to wear for work and play, initially Stateside, and then finding success all over the world.
The first pair of Lee 101 jeans was created in 1924 in the American Midwest. A heavy duty, sturdy pair of jeans to meet the work and leisure requirements of the now legendary Cowboy. The revolutionary, sharp fit crafted in high quality fabrics ensured that the 101 achieved iconic status amongst both weather beaten lone riders and the showmen like rodeo stars. Now entering the 9th decade of the 101's lifespan, Lee intends to introduce a range of garments to celebrate the 101's illustrious past, proudly displaying the skilled craftsmanship and eternalizing the pioneering spirit of its origin.
Did you know that the Lee 101 Rider was the world's first slim fit jean? We sell the Rider in a 12.25oz dry left-hand selvedge. If you wanted a vintage twist on the Rider, the '50s Rider Regular Fit 13oz draws on the cowboy heritage of the American west for inspiration.