Walter A. Haas
Denim jeans are popular because of their durability as well as their remarkable versatility. Levi’s is the brand that pioneered these features.
Levi’s jeans would not have seen the light of day if it were not for Walter A. Haas. Levi Strauss & Co. owes its success to the business leader who showed the
worldwide fabric and apparel industry how to produce a legacy. His clothing company, Levi Strauss & Co. is still one of the most recognizable brands of “blue jean” denim pants.
Walter A. Haas – Re-Engineering Jeans
Walter Haas graduated from the UC Berkeley School of Business in 1910. By 1989, his alma mater changed its name into the Haas School of Berkeley in honor of his continuous support to the institution.
Back in 1914, Levi Strauss & Co. owed much of its rebirth to Walter A. Haas. He acquired the company when he married the founder’s grandniece. Years before, the business was not doing very well but he turned things around and was very instrumental to the company’s success. He was able to revive the company in a span of two years by diversifying its wholesale dry goods into manufacturing and distributing a wider variety of products.
He served Levi Strauss and Co. for years, taking over as the company’s president from 1928 to 1955. In 1946, Levis Strauss & Co. earned $8 million. The company’s earnings had reached as high as $2 billion by the time Haas died in 1979.
Levi Strauss & Co., which was first established in 1853, had Levi’s as its most famous brand of denim jeans. Other famous brands were Dockers and Levi Strauss. Today, the company has three headquarters around the globe: one in San Francisco, another in Brussels, and in Singapore.
The denim giant also produces tailored slacks, jackets, skirts, belts, hats, and other apparel.
The Walter A. Haas Quick Bio
Full name: Walter A. Haas
Birthdate: May 11, 1889
Birthplace: San Francisco, California
Company: Levi Strauss & Co.
Industry: Fabric and Apparel
Key Success Traits: creativity, diversity, great employee relations
Walter A. Haas is still remembered for his great treatment of workers.
Though Levi Strauss & Co. experienced some major setbacks through the years, he kept the company afloat and did his best to avoid layoffs.
An extremely generous man, he spent his lifetime supporting social and civic programs, particularly those for Jewish communities.