Fashion Designer Issac Mizrahi on How the Button Changed the World
by Ashley Dreiling
Before buttons, clothes were bigger and draped bulkily over the body. And while we don’t know for certain who first invented the button, it seemed to pop up around 2,000 BCE. Surprisingly, the buttonhole didn’t appear until about 3,000 years later. Early buttons were mostly decorative, but eventually, people started slipping them through buttonholes, which must be cut to a precise size given the dimensions of the individual button. Suddenly, fashion meant flattering, form-fitting duds!
Buttons have stood the test of time because, unlike other closures such as the zipper or Velcro, they hold together the most securely. It’s an almost perfect example of a small object turning into a big idea.