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The Top Dog of ’80s Designer Denim: Sergio Valente

The tightest, hottest jeans on the block belonged to the champion of designer denim, Sergio Valente. Sergios hit the market in 1975, steering denim in a new direction. The slim-cut, straight leg style with the embroidered back pockets was a bold change from the dull denim bell-bottoms and flares that had dominated the first half of the decade. Sergios opened the door for disco and took the dance floor by storm: nothing looked better than skintight Sergios with a tube top and cork-wedged sandals for girls, or a slick polyester shirt opened to the belly button for guys. Once they started groovin’, they couldn’t slow down. Everyone, even Charlie’s Angels, poured themselves into a pair of Sergio Valentes.

Sergios were famous for their tight squeeze: the super-slim, stovepipe style was so tight that the wearer usually had to lie down in order to get the zipper up. Alternative methods were utilized when even gravity couldn’t work in your favor: pliers or a hanger inserted into the hole in the zipper tab helped to get a grip so that your friends could give a good yank and sausage you in. Still not tight enough? Pull them out of the dryer while still damp; the denim was guaranteed to shrink as it dried on your body, for an almost perfect second skin when they dried and hardened into the stiff shape of your body. While not terribly comfortable, you did look dynamite!… read more >


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