Discover more from The Retroist
Goldiggers Jeans for Young Girls
The late Seventies and early eighties were an amazing time for toys, TV, and even children’s fashions. Or so I thought. While I grew up wearing Garanimals and Wranglers, the children of the Disco Jet Set and Studio 54 crowd were wearing Goldiggers Jeans. That’s right… Goldiggers.
It is an interesting name to choose for a jean brand. One can easily associate it with the origin of jeans. As a comfortable, durable clothing item for gold miners, denim jeans were an integral part of a “gold diggers” wardrobe.
But these are not Gold Digger Jeans. These are Goldigger jeans. Goldigger or Gold Digger being a slang term for a person who latches on to another wealthier person for the express purpose of extracting wealth.
I ask you, why encourage your little girl to grow up and take care of herself? It’s much easier for her to find herself a rich Sugar Daddy and dig for gold. Thankfully the commercial doesn’t feature young girls hitting on older men, but the naming choice is disturbing nonetheless.
Oddly enough, this commercial WAS almost a lot more disturbing. According to an article in the New York Times from 1980. “Jet Set Jeans, manufacturers of the Goldiggers brand, canceled a commercial with flirtatious dialog between a pair of juveniles and substituted a more childlike playground scene.”
I am sure that that skipped direction was inspired by the series of ads and commercials for Calvin Klein jeans that starred a then 15-year-old Brooke Shields. In them, she rattled off double entendres that stirred up controversy and spurred on sales.
So while it is nice to think that the name of these jeans was a completely wholesome choice, the environment for advertising at the time would indicate otherwise.
Thankfully, the person who would create the Goldiggers ad campaign, Howard Goldstein, would ultimately choose this catchy schoolyard commercial. Featuring young kids playing around in their Goldiggers and a catchy pop jingle.
The name and controversy around jean advertising at the time aside, people who owned Goldiggers jeans at the time have very positive memories of them. They were fun, decently made pants with a very cool gold bar accent piece that made them stand out in the crowd.
Unfortunately, they were released at the tail-end of the first wave of the “status jeans” trend. This is when people would pay a premium for a brand. While it never has died as a trend, it goes up and down in waves and Goldiggers were not able to ride one for very long. They were only on the market for a couple of years, but they made quite a splash to the kids who owned them and are remembered quite fondly by them.