BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
You saw him on television; you hear him on the radio; you've been to his web site and maybe even visited his news site called The Blaze; you marched with him in Washington; you've bought his books; your kids went to his Patriot Camps; you attended his lectures; and now he has found another way he can strip mine cash from your pocketbooks: Glenn Beck jeans.
Beck's new fashionista label, 1791 Supply & Co. Denim, is offering alternative jeans - in "Classic Cut" and "Straight Cut" - to what Beck characterized as socialist-minded Levis.
"In 1791 the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution - and Beck wants American consumers to remember their founding fathers with their clothing choices," the New York Daily News' Lindsay Goldwert recently pointed out.
Billed as clothing made for the working man, Beck's new jeans has a pretty handsome price tag; $129.00 a pair. Beck's Western-style shirts (in brown and olive) go for $90.
Never one to understate the global impact of his projects, Beck has likened his haberdashery efforts to the charitable work of the late Paul Newman. Beck said that 1791 was "not a business, it's more like a charity that does business. All the net profits will go to restoring our people, our history, our hometowns and our families." The Daily News reported "on his radio show" Beck "was vague about exactly where the profits would go other than to 'local charities.'"
According to the Daily News, "The goods are reportedly woven in Greensboro, North Carolina, and cut and sewn in a 90 year-old Kentucky factory."
Seattlepi.com's Amy Rolph reported that, "Beck has a beef with Levi's. The conservative pundit recently railed against the denim company's 'Go Forth' advertisement as having a 'European socialist' message."
"I love Levi's," Beck said. "Never again. Levi's, never again will you get a dime from me... I won't wear your stupid red tab."
The Levi ad, now viewed on You Tube by more than 3.5 million people, "paired footage of people rioting with a Charles Bukowski poem," Rolph reported.
Beck's 1791 web site also contains a one-minute ad geared to rough individualists that appear to launch homemade rocket ships in the desert.
The voiceover states: "These were the first American blue jeans. The jeans that built America. And they were built in America. Built at a time when things were timeless. A time when you knew things would last. A time when people worked for their dreams and their dreams worked for them."
Business Insider's Jim Edwards fact checked the ad:
- "These were the first American Blue Jeans."
"Actually, these are Glenn Beck's new jeans, circa 2012. Many jeans were made in America before Beck got into the denim business."
- "The jeans that built America."
"America was 'built' largely after 1783, and thus Beck's jeans had no role in that process. Jeans were actually invented by a German, Levi Strauss, using French cloth, in America."
- "Built at a time when things were timeless."
"This just doesn't make sense."
- "Americans built locomotives ..."
"The first locomotive was built in England — America's former colonial master! — in 1804."
- "1791. The American jean."
"Jeans were not invented until 1853. (Beck is actually referring to the year the Bill of Rights were ratified.) In the 1700s, men wore breeches and women wore large hooped-skirts, made of a variety of materials. In reality, breeches and skirts built America."
"1791 uses the same denim mill that Levi's uses for its own Made in the USA products, most of its vintage collection, and some of its 501 jeans," Bloomberg Businessweek's Susan Berfield pointed out. "The company, Cone Denim, has a facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, called White Oak. Beck addressed the matter on his show, saying of his jeans: 'We make them from the same company that Levi's gave up on.' But Levi's has been getting some of its denim from Cone since 1915. A spokesperson for Levi's confirmed this, but declined to comment on 1791 jeans."
Tim DiDonato, his 27-year-old son-in-law, designs Beck's jeans, New York magazine's Libby Copeland reported.
After about a year, DiDonato came up with a design with "the precise components Beck insisted on, including copper rivets in the old burr-and-washer style and a signature thread for each cut. 'We must've went through ten different kinds of brown and twelve or thirteen different kinds of golden yellow to find the exact color Glenn wanted,' DiDonato said."
After several trips to Beck's home in the Dallas area, the newly minted fashionista finally chose "the denim supplier they'd work with."
1791 is also offering a line of men's and women's t-shirts, as well as polos, rugby shirts and fleeces and sweatshirts. The 1791 "Accessories" shop is also offering up "1791 Washed Twill Logo Hat"($25); a "1791 Death to Tyranny Sticker" ($4); "1791 Buffalo Canvas Bag" ($65); and, to top it off, a "1791 With Charity For All Poster" featuring a picture of Frederick Douglass ($35).
Don't doubt for a minute that Beck's first foray into the world of fashion will be a success. At the 1791 web site a big banner indicating that the first run was "Temporarily Sold Out," and that "Addition Stock [was] Coming."