Henry David Lee established the H.D. Lee Mercantile Company a wholesale grocery distributor in Salina, Kansas in 1889. His timing was perfect— meeting a major need in a region of the country where the population was growing exponentially.In 1895, Lee recognized the need to handle larger shipments of perishable goods and established Kansas Ice & Cold Storage Company. The mercantile business also paved the way for the H.D. Lee Flour Mills, which made profitable use of the large amounts of grain received in trade.In 1920, the Buddy Lee doll was introduced to promote Lee overalls. Over the next 40 years, he became prominent in the promotions of each new product introduced by Lee.Through the '20s, Lee introduced many new innovations—from a stronger, more durable denim fabric for workwear to cowboy pants for working and rodeo cowboys. Most notably, Lee introduced the zipper fly in cowboy pants and zip-front overalls and coveralls. Throughout the '30s and '40s Lee continued to build on their brand, becoming the nation's #1 manufacturer of work clothes.The company continued to expand its fashion lines throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s, and launched Lee National Denim Day® in 1996.Today's Lee is all about bringing more fits, styles, finishes, features and choices than ever before to the market .
We believe in quality. We believe that the manufacturer or the merchant who builds with quality as a foundation stone, builds for permanence and prosperity. We prefer to sell one garment of highest quality to one hundred of inferior grade. It means better business and greater satisfaction for us, for you and for the customer.”