Weird History

The Rise, Fall, And Wide-Leg Legacy Of JNCO Jeans

Anyone who happened to grow up in the 1990s will surely remember the sudden rise - and fall - of the JNCO jeans empire. From elementary school yards to high school hallways, JNCO wide-leg jeans rapidly took up more and more space in the world of fashion, acting as both a statement of social status and of subtle angst-driven rebellion. However, after an unanticipated fashion shift and a number of financial panics, JNCO's popularity lost momentum almost as quickly as it rose. So, what happened to JNCO jeans, anyway?

Originally developed in 1985 by two French brothers, Jacques Yaakov Revah and Haim Milo Revah, JNCO ("Journey of the Chosen Ones" or "Judge None, Choose One") started out as a brand aimed at attracting youth subcuture, from skaters to ravers and X-Treme Sports fanatics. But the wider their jeans became, the wider their potential youth market became, too. As if overnight, the brand had grown exponentially, with demand for the jeans hitting the shelves of far more distributers than anticipated. And, like Icarus flying too close to the sun, JNCO plummeted more suddenly than either of the Revah brothers could have anticipated. 

Despite its apparent downfall in the late '90s, the brand has made a few comebacks since, the latest resurgence being as recent as the summer of 2019 with the help of, among other things, celebrity endorsement and nostalgia.