11 Vintage Ads That Show How Target Used To Advertise Denim

Target first began selling denim under the private label “Tarval” in 1962, more than 85 years after Levi Strauss introduced the first pair of “waist overalls.”

Early advertisements for the retailer’s denim selection show bell-bottomed jean suits for men, “patchwork” denim for boys, and high-waisted, flared styles for women. Soon stonewashed, frosted, and embroidered jeans came into style.

Check out some of Target’s early jeans ads and store photos below, courtesy of the retailer’s blog, A Bullseye View.

Here’s an ad from 1971 offering a matching jean jacket and pants “for when a suit’s too much and your denims just don’t make it.”

Now here’s the version for boys, costing just $US6, in 1975:

The “patchwork” jean jacket and overalls on the illustration of the boy below “combine solids and prints pieced together,” according to the ad, which was printed in 1975. But we can’t quite figure out what’s going on in the illustration. The combo looks pretty ridiculous.

Target began selling Wrangler jeans in 1963, followed soon after by Levi’s jeans.

The retailer ran its first Levi’s promotional event in August of 1976 and sold 60,000 jeans in just three days, according to A Bullseye View.

Another sale was held a few months later, which sold more than 140,000 jeans for only $US10.99 a pair.

Here’s an ad from the same year suggesting that men pair brushed denim pants with “snappy” print shirts:

Since opening in 1962, jeans have been featured in Target’s weekly ad a total of 2,687 times, according to the retailer’s blog.

In 1977, Target introduced cutoff jeans paired with tank tops. The retailer was also selling a t-shirt printed with an image of a Miller Lite beer can.

Also in 1977, Target was offering coloured denim for men, as well as tube socks and a t-shirt printed with an illustration of Charlie’s Angels.

“The ‘designer jean’ craze of the 1980s was Target’s first taste of big name designers,” according to Target’s blog. “Target aisles quickly transformed into runways when the store ran the first designer jean event in August 1979. In just 24 hours (we love those limited time-only deals), Target sold 21,000 pairs of jeans by sought-after designers like Gloria Vanderbilt, Calvin Klein and Diane von Furstenberg.”

In 1991, Target’s Merona brand debuted. The brand’s jeans cost just $US14.88 in 1995.

Remember when denim accessories were cool? Here’s some evidence of that trend from 1999:

Flash forward to 2011, and Target’s men’s jeans were selling for $US24 to $US33.

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