a US make of jeans (= trousers/pants made of denim) Culture Levi's are produced by Levi Strauss Associates in San Francisco. They were first made during the Gold Rush by Levi Strauss (1829-1902), who was born in Germany. He had started a company making tents in 1853 and then began to produce tough work clothes in 1874. Levi's became fashionable in the 1960s and are now sold all over the world. Word Origin 1920s: named after Levi Strauss, original US manufacturer in the 1860s.