The iconic British brand is celebrating quite a milestone this month, considering its humble origins as M. Cooper Overalls Ltd., founded in 1908 (the same year Ford launched the first mass production car) by one Morris Cooper, a tailor by trade. In 1914, the company switched to making battle fatigues, and later designed British uniforms for World War 2; more recently, they created parade wear for the Beijing Olympics.
Along the way, the self described Fine English Denim Company introduced "front zip" ladies jeans to an outraged public, as well as 60s tartan slacks and bell bottoms, 70s cords, and skin-tight acid wash "jogging jeans" with a drawstring and prefabricated holes...perfect for the glamazon 80s. Some of Lee Cooper's cooler fashion collaborations have been with Lou Doillon (top), Jade Jagger, Giles Deacon, Jean Charles de Castelbajac, and a neon-bathed Jane Birkin in this shiny ad from 1978.
And for more fun with denim, check out this 1979 Lee Cooper ad by Gary Numan:
- Lesley Scott
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