Mayor's office jumps into the jean pool to highlight sexual violence issues
If all goes according to plan, City Hall will be tangled up in blue on Wednesday -- as in blue jeans.
No, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hasn't mandated a "cost-cutting casual" dress code; the mayor's staff is being urged to jump into the jean pool as part of Denim Day in LA & USA, as a show of support for the survivors of sexual assault and to raise awareness about the issue of sexual violence.
Now in its 12th year, the Denim Day concept was launched in the aftermath of a 1999 Italian court case overturning a rape conviction because the victim wore jeans. (The legal reasoning was that since the jeans were tight, she must have helped remove them -- thus implying consent.) Based on a 2003 article from the Los Angeles Times archives, the mayor's office has been dressing down for the cause for at least the last nine of those years.
According to Peace Over Violence, the group coordinating the nationwide effort, some 2 million people across the country will decide to don denim for the day to highlight the issue.
And this year, if you'd rather show your support by dropping off denim instead of putting it on, you can do that too. For the next week the mayor's office will be accepting donations of denim items -- both at the main entrance to City Hall and field offices across the city -- to be donated to a local domestic violence shelter.
So what brand of blue jean will the mayor of the premium denim capital of the world be wearing?
We couldn't get an answer to that -- when we asked the press office we were told that Villaraigosa had left the building for the day.
I’m going to guess Levi’s or Wranglers, though I’d love to see him in Stronghold Denim -- a brand that was originally founded in 1895 in downtown Los Angeles and was L.A.'s first denim company.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: A 2004 file photo from the annual "Denim Day" campaign to raise awareness about sexual violence. This year, an estimated 2 million people -- including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's staff -- are expected to wear blue jeans on April 27 to show their support of the cause. Credit: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times.