Jeansboro Day recognizes the Greensboro denim connection

by Carl Mize

Greensboro was awash in a sea of blue, blue denim that is, as city officials proudly proclaimed November 17th as the first annual Jeansboro Day. The honor is a nod to Wrangler Jeans, a Greensboro mainstay since the early 1900’s. Wrangler Jeans, while working in conjunction with another Greensboro institution, Cone Mills providing the denim, has been responsible for producing millions of pairs of blue jeans and providing thousands of jobs throughout the years for Gate City residents.Currently, one out of every five pairs of jeans sold in America, bear a Wrangler label.However, as it is with many enterprises, they were certainly humble beginnings. In 1904, C.C. Hudson and his brother Homer formed the Hudson Overall Company in a loft above Coe Grocery in South Greensboro.Their success in the production of overalls leads them to change the name of the company to Blue Bell in 1919.In 1947 the American consumer was introduced to what we know today as Wrangler Authentic Western Jeans. This in turn allowed Wrangler to align itself heavily with the sport of rodeo, which is an association that they still enjoy today.In the mid-1980’s, another top jeans manufacturer, VF Corp., based in Pennsylvania came knocking and joined forces with Blue Bell to create the world’s largest manufacturer of blue jeans and denim garments in the world.In addition to Wrangler, VF Corp. also owns many other popular clothing lines such as Nautica and Lee jeans.So as you can see, all of this history was a reason for celebration.Mayor Nancy Vaughn, who read the proclamation, was among the guests who included VF Corp employees, local dignitaries and the general public. The event, which was held on the front lawn of Wranglers main office complex downtown, allowed folks to hear a little about the Wrangler legacy and its importance to the general economy of this area throughout the years.Guests enjoyed refreshments and were treated to entertainment by the home bred North Carolina, southern rock band Mackenzie Mills. They also were able to get a up close and personal look at the # 3 Wrangler Jean Machine car which any NASCAR fan would recognize.Eric Wiseman, President and CEO of VF Corp, announced new sponsoring partnerships with Salvation Army’s Boy’s and Girl’s Club’s of Greensboro, The Carolina Theatre and the Greensboro Children’s Museum, and the Children’s Science Museum.He also announced an exciting new venture. There will be several jean sculptures that will be unveiled in various locations around the central downtown area. The sculptures will be decorated by the art departments of the various high school and universities throughout the region.