“Uh-Oh, O! Sergio...”
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 bellbottoms 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!
Sergios were tough and got you were you were going in style. Wandering eyes riveted on the trademarked steer head, its wide rack of horns boldly embroidered on the back pockets in fashion colors, or focused on the sharp, angular V that spread across the pocket in stark white against the deep blue indigo. These jeans were hot, and they maintained their disco queen title in the crowd of a blazing designer jean market. Sergio Valente’s name spread to a variety of other products, and soon the steer could be seen on apparel, luggage, toys and accessories.
By 1982, disco fever cooled down and Sergios stopped production. Other designer jeans continued to flood the market, but Sergios kept to the sidelines. Still, the name Sergio retained its exclusivity. Even when the glory days of disco returned for most of the 90’s, Sergios remained only a fond memory. But absence makes the heart grow fonder, and people began to reminisce about the days of painted-on jeans, and their favorite label: Sergio Valente.
1997 saw the rebirth of the bull when an underground fashion movement reclaimed rights to the early 80’s retro-look. Vintage original Sergios were scooped up from thrift stores, and celebrities like Beck and the Spice Girls were seen sashaying around stage in their Sergios. When Mariah Carey featured Sergios in her wildly popular “Butterfly” video, every adolescent girl was clamoring for a pair overnight.
Knowing that the time was right to ‘take the bull by the horns,’ Seattle Pacific Industries relaunched the original Sergio Valente style, as well as a modern line of denim and casual wear. Tired of the ‘relaxed’ look that had ruled over denim, a whole new generation was roped in by dark denim and skintight fits. Luckily for them, stretch denim makes pulling them on (and off) a little easier. But don’t worry, they bulls are tighter than ever, and just as feisty! Oh, Sergio!
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