To a certain extent, one can argue that Lee and Lee Copper are the same brands but to a large extent, they are different brands. We shall cover the details of each brand separately to find the Actual difference between the Lee and Lee Cooper brands
The Lee brand
First and foremost, we must investigate the origins of these brands. Lee is a denim jeans brand that was founded in the United States of America in 1889 in Salina, Kansas. The company is owned by Kontoor Brands, a division of the VF Corporation’s Jeanswear Division. It relocated its headquarters from Merriam, Kansas, to Greensboro, North Carolina. It is casual wear and workwear manufacturer and international retailer with over 400 employees in the United States, according to the company. Since 2007, Pacific Brands has owned the brand franchise in Australasia, having purchased it from Yakka.
In the 1970s, Lee shifted its focus from the production of only workwear to the management of the fashion cycle. Under the Ms Lee label, Lee launched a completely new line of women’s clothing.
In 1981, the label had over 240 factory workers in Greenock, Scotland, who staged a sit-in in protest of plans to relocate the factory to Northern Ireland. What was supposed to be a one-night protest that lasted seven months? Arvind Mills began producing Lee Jeans in a number of small factories in Chamarajanagar, India, in 2005. Approximately 60,000 workers worldwide produce 5,000 pairs of jeans per day.
Lee debuted a youth wear line for both boys and girls. As part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 1996, the company established Lee National Denim Day. Lee National Denim Day, in collaboration with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, has raised more than $70 million to support breast cancer research programs. The brand then relaunched in Paris in 2014 through the Citadium Paris store. Lee, Wrangler, Rock & Republic, and VF Outlet were spun off from VF Corporation in 2019 to form Kontoor Brands.
The Lee Cooper Brand
Lee Cooper is an English-American clothing and footwear manufacturing company based in London that specializes in denim products. In addition to its own production, the company licenses the sale of many Lee Cooper-branded items around the world.
Lee Cooper began as Europe’s first authentic denim brand in 1908. Morris Cooper, who was born in London’s East End, founded The Morris Cooper Factory, a workwear manufacturing company. Cooper developed a strong reputation for producing high-quality, long-lasting workwear and overalls.
When the First World War broke out, the company shifted its focus to military uniforms for British troops. The company stopped production of workwear and began making uniforms, kit bags and rucksacks for the British Army. In 1931, the company was renamed M. Cooper (Overalls). The breakout of the Second World War in 1939 led Morris Cooper to split the business into two: one arm continued making workwear, while the other concentrated on producing military uniforms, battle fatigues and flight overalls. M. Cooper (Overalls) eventually became one of the biggest suppliers to the British Armed Forces.
Lee Cooper began to reinvent jeans as fashion in the 1940s, near the end of the war. Morris Cooper’s son, Harold Cooper, took over the factory after his father’s death and began the new direction of workwear to jeans production, resulting in the birth of the now-famous brand name “Lee Cooper.” Lee Cooper has spearheaded the introduction of denim jeans to the UK market in less than two years.
Lee Cooper was the first “jeans brand” to recognize the link between music and fashion, and he has since tapped into the vibrant undercurrent of musical youth. Throughout its history, the brand has collaborated with legendary artists such as The Rolling Stones, Serge Gainsbourg, and Rod Stewart. Lee Cooper made history when they were the first to introduce the first women’s jeans with a “front zip,” causing a stir and public outcry.
And since then, Lee Cooper has been unstoppable, with many innovations, expanding tremendously and becoming one of the world’s leading brands. Current products by Lee Cooper comprise jeans, denim t-shirts, sneakers, backpacks, and fanny packs.