Monday, 30 May 2011

IT'S GRIM UP NORTH KLF EDITION




The latest Grim Up North offering will be on-line in the next day. The T-Shirt will be available in Navy, White and Lime Green on the website while all stores will receive their supply by the end of the week.
The inspiration comes from the KLF song 'It's Grim Up North' with it's lyrics of Northern Towns used as the keyline around an image of 60s flats and our re-interpreted Vegas sign.
Stores stocking the design include Ran, Terraces, Stuarts, An-X, Northern Rags, Hip, 80s Casualclassics, Camisera and Originals Footwear.


Sunday, 29 May 2011

GRAFTERS COLLECTION - COMING SOON


video

SUMMER T-SHIRTS



The '1981' Riots T-Shirt is a real exclusive and only available from our own website and Ran in Liverpool and Manchester plus Stuarts in London. 50 only have been produced this month. Our image incorporates a provocative French policeman image from a poster produced during the 1968 student riots in Paris plus a pic which shows a scene of devastation witnessed throughout the U.K. during the Summer of 1981. The T-Shirt will be distributed this week almost 30 years on, along with 3 other new designs which we will show once printed.
There are also re-runs of the popular Joy Division influenced 'Insight', plus 'The North will Rise' and the Everton F.C. Duncan Ferguson designs.
All T-Shirts will be in stores towards the end of the week.



Thursday, 26 May 2011

DAKAR JACKET PROMO


The guys over at Freakbeat Films, http://vimeo.com/freakbeatfilms/videos have put together this short promo incorporating the finer details of the Dakar Jacket with motorcycle footage from the deserts of the Paris - Dakar Rally.
Music from The Room , "Things have learnt to walk that ought to crawl."

NEAL HEARD [TRAINERS BOOK] INTERVIEW




When we started the 80s Casuals website 5 or so years ago, we had a few interviews with some who were associated with the culture in one way or another. As the site was re-vamped over the years the interview section mysteriously disappeared. We have now found the transcripts and here we have author Neal Heard who's passion for Trainers took him to far off lands in the early 90s and the publication of the book 'Trainers'.

80s. Lets start with the trainer obsession, when and how did this come about?

N.H. To be honest I never see myself as obsessed, I was like most other lads back in the early 80s. I became a Casual like lots of us did. I certainly was not a leader in any sense back then, so it was the boys of your book and then their 'copycat' brethren in Newport, who I then took the lead from. I can't say when it started but I remember firstly having Puma G Vilas and adidas ZX250 (not the 500 as I liked the lighter Nylon) and I left them in a box in the front room (when not wearing them) so I could look at them in between watching TV, and I remember my dad thinking I was mad!! So it was around here that I started to love trainers. But I can't stress enough how much most people from that era loved their trainers, lots more than me, and I mean that in a good way.

80s You turned collecting and hunting down deadstock into a fine art, didn’t you? When did you start travelling abroad looking for trainers?

N.H. The best way to describe our deadstock hunting was that it was done as a profession. I don't mean that we did not love trainers or that I did not think it was the best job in the world, but I mean, we literally looked for them full time and that’s what paid the bills. Again, in all honesty, I was semi late into this too. My good friend Fraser Moss (who started You Must Create) had worked in one of Newport's independent sports shops (Edwards Sports) before he left for London, to work in Vivian Westwoods Shop on the Kings Road, at the age of 17. Frase was certainly no footy boy but appreciated the Casual look and he loved his trainers.

Anyway, around about 90/91 he realised that Trainers were becoming like Vintage 501's, as in, that they were collectable (especially to the Japanese) and he started to come back to Wales with two other good friends Idris and Chris who were all running a label called Professor Head back then. They knew there were stacks of little sports shops in Wales which should have lots of deadstock which the owner had no idea that other people would want. So they started coming home and emptying the basements and stock rooms of these shops and then either sold them to Japan or to Duffer st George (who were mainly into buying shell toes back then).

This became so successful that they and the duffer owners (Eddie and Marco) went to the states searching for deadstock and selling it on. Anyway, Frase knew that being an old footy boy, that I loved my trainers and he new that me and my best mate Griffo had made the odd foray looking for them ourselves, but mainly in a 'amateur way', as in we wanted to find the old models which were not around at that time. So I started hooking up with the PH boys on each trip and I can safely say, I will never have a better job.

I had always wanted to be an archaeologist and this pastime combined a few thrills in one go. Firstly travelling around with your mates having a laugh, secondly the big thing was persuading the shop owner to let you in his stock room without raising his suspicions that you were dying to get at the stock and thirdly, the best of all was the first time you walked into the rooms and saw the boxes. That was such a rush, to me it was like Howard Carter and King Tuts cave!! Amongst smelly damp rooms and piles of crap, sat old Adi boxes or Nikes, Pumas etc etc and after a while you could tell by the box what was in the room and it was just the best feeling.

Anyway, it went so well, someone actually paid for us to go to America on a finding mission in 1994 I think (this was actually Jimmy who later became co-founder of YMC, that’s how it started) . That's how serious it got, it was like any other investment, it's useful to know that Nike Air Jordans could be bought for £10 or less at the time and were selling for £300 to the Japanese. We had an account with UPS, and we would literally just raid the stock rooms and box them all up on a pallet and then phone UPS and ship them straight to Japan. It was mad. We were staying in top class Hotels and had a hired convertible Mustang, it was all like a dream.

We started in Toronto and worked over to Boston. The best over there was a little shop outside Boston, in a town called, Worcester Massachusetts, called Charlies Sports (a friend went recently and said Charlie had died), this guy was like out of Top Cat, he loved us and called us The Beatles, he had photos of him and Mohammed Ali and Babe Ruth on the wall, it was all so like a story it was unbelievable. Also a place called 20th Century Sports. But you would not have got these names out of us back then, not even for 50k, it was wanted information.

80s. Were they for yourself or mainly to sell on and make money out of?

N.H. As you can see, it was both, I could combine business with pleasure!!! But a massive bonus was that within reason we were allowed to keep what we wanted and that's how my collecting started, but again it didn't start like, oh I want to collect, I could just get my hands on superb trainers so I did. Luckily, the japs were mainly into Nikes, especially Jordans, or Shell Toes, anything States related really, so all the old classics from the footy days could be ferreted away easily into my possession, and there were stacks!

80s. Where did you go and what were you buying? Where was the best place you went?

N.H. We went all over the UK, Eire, France, Germany, Greece the USA and even Australia. The states was easily the best for numbers/business results, as I said, they had lots of Nike and thats what got the money. On a personal level, the UK was the best as it had more of the Trainers that I was into, so Forest Hill, Stan Smith, Trimm Trabb, Zx'z (not many) lots of the city series, you name it, it was around. Wales was great (Ron Jones sports of Maesteg, Castle Sports in Merthyr, Bolwells in Blackwood) but we also used to go up to the Sports Shoe Warehouse in Bradford, a small shop in Wigan was an Aladdin’s cave, a great little shop in Bournemouth and another in Wallasey called Showman I think. The best find in the UK was a shop called Hales Sports in Wimbledon. This had it all, an old Brother and sister operation, tennis rackets and bowls in the window, still selling Daley Thompson Vests 10 years too late. We empties it, it had boxed in all sizes, and all colours of trainers but also stuff like Adidas Superstar Tracksuits, full kits of Admiral football kits like Crystal Palace, Coventry and Derby etc, it was amazing. and we got so many good trainers from there it was amazing.

80s. What were you best finds? Cheapest/Dearest?

N.H. Hard to say really as so many. You have to remember that at the time re-issuing wasn't even dreamt of. We used to contact the brands and tell them the whole scene and beg them to re-issue certain models and they just did not want to know. It's amazing to remember this only 15 odd years later. So my best were the shoes listed above, all the old terrace classics. I never found a pair of ZX250 though!! The rarest were some original Nike Oregon I think, which were samples, from 1972/73 with hand written labels on them, probably handled by Phil Knight or his 1st salesman Steve Prefontiane. For cheapness, I was spoilt, we usually got the shoes for £5-10!!

80s. Before you started travelling, where d’ya get yer trainees from?

N.H. I stopped buying trainers in 1987 I think, when I thought the whole football scene had died and it was time to move on, also trainers became shite. Before that, I bought them near home, places like Edwards in Newport or the best in South Wales was strangely up the Valleys in a small town called Blackwood and this was called Bolwells. Strangely, I ended up emptying Bolwells of all its old stock as recently as 2001 with Griffo and he still had a huge Adidas Trefoil sign outside (which was later thrown in a skip to my chagrin). Anyway, I had a chat with Mr Bolwell all these years later and asked him how he always had the best stock and he explained he knew the reps well so they kept the shoes no one else in South Wales could get and saved them for him. That's what was so good about the whole deadstock thing, it had such a rich tapestry of people and tales in it. As it came to an end, it was like a new era of social history. In 15 years, most towns lost all of their independent stores and in came the chains.

80s. How many do you have now and are you still on the look out for your own collection?

N.H. I only have about 30 pairs now, since all the re-issuing came along I kind of lost interest in the whole thing.

80s. What’s your favourite?

N.H. Hard call, ZX250 probably only as they were like my 1st love, and you never forget that!

80s. D’ya think ebay and the re-issuing of all the old styles has killed off a large proportion of the market for vintage trainers? Is it worth travelling anymore?

N.H. God yes, you could still travel for interests and fun's sake to Poland or Yuogslavia for the old adidas factories but so much has been plundered, and the time I got out was when the re-issues were worth more than the originals!!

80s. Nowadays White Riot is your main priority, where did the name come from? Clash fan.?

N.H. I am not at all into the Clash really, neither is my Partner Dan Moss (Fraser of YMC’s younger brother), but when we both decided to have a go at a label together we were kind of stuck for a name. Anyway, the meaning behind the name can be mis-construed as controversial to those who are p.c or don’t know us. When I decided to actually move to London in 2000 I became annoyed by how much the appraisal of fashion and youth culture in this country had been stitched up by a middle/upper class elite. The saying ‘History is written by the Victors’ sprang to mind, even though this was no war. It seemed the whole media who basically did not and still does not really want to know of the movements of the British working class and particularly to my mind, the white working class. They give plenty of kudos to movements initiated by Black kids but anything else is construed as Chav like or crap. Hence how those in the media call Trainers Sneakers. Its always the same sort of person who loved the states or hip hop even though they are from Staines or Slough. It’s like you would be lead to believe that the 1980’s was all about Buffalo style or we were all aping 80’s New York Hip Hop. But where I lived and all over the country we did not even know what it was, everyone was doing the Casual thing. But finding reference to it is nigh on impossible. Anyway, I grew sick of it quickly and really White Riot was meant to some up my anger about that, not in a racist way but in an anti-elitist anti trustafarian Guardian reader way.

Neal is the author of the aestheticly produced 'Trainers' book or 'Sneakers' as it is known in other parts of the world. A must for anyone remotely interested in the core of our culture. Available at all good book stores.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

AUTUMN '11 SHIRT





We have two check shirt samples being produced at present. The first previewed a few weeks back and this is the second who's colours were inspired by a Paul and Shark piece from times gone by. A new triangular metal badge will debut on the shirt and there are a few other alterations still to be made. Once they have been completed, we will show the finished article here first.


Sunday, 22 May 2011

KEV SAMPSONS POWDER FILM

We were fortunate enough this week to view Kev Sampson's latest screen offering.
'Powder' premiered at Fact in Liverpool on Thursday evening before a near capacity crowd which included the legendary New York music entrepreneur Seymour Stein, Vice-President of Warner Brothers.
The film follows Keva [Liam Boyle] and his band The Grams on a roller-coaster ride to success, culminating in an appearance at the 'V-Festival'. It's at the Festival where the film comes into it's own giving a perfectly authentic depiction of the atmosphere at such an event with the odd cameo thrown in from musicians appearing on the day. Starsailor's James Walsh is also the voice behind The Grams music and a Soundtrack album may also appear with the Films general release.
Plans for the film include a tour of most major music festivals during the Summer, then an Autumn cinema release followed by the DVD debut in the run-up to Christmas.
Freakbeat Films caught up with lead actor Liam Boyle before the Premiere.

COMING SOON - EDWIN 503 JEANS






Coming soon we have what is probably a U.K. exclusive. Edwin 503 Jeans are 'Made in Japan' using the worlds highest level of technology and design. The Edwins sold at present in stores here are from their European distributors using Japanese denim but not manufactured there.
The '503' are the biggest selling jeans range in Japan and include Winter lined denim and the '503 New Vintage' selvedge edition which we are securing for our website. They are a regular fitting jean with red selvedge on the inner seam and on the right hand coin pocket.
More details to follow in the coming weeks.


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

DEEP RED DAKAR JACKET



Our Deep Red or Crimson Dakar Jacket should be ready to pre-order on the website in the next day or so with deliveries due next week. On the other hand supplies are heading towards stockists as from today and most stores should have supplies by next week.
This Deep Red version has a contrast navy hood and inner seams.



Monday, 16 May 2011

MINI CASUALS.


We've just come across a fantastic photo from Liverpool in 1985. It appeared on the BBC website today as part of a project in 1985/86. In 1986, 900 years after William the Conqueror’s original Domesday Book, the BBC published the Domesday Project. The project was probably the most ambitious attempt ever to capture the essence of life in the United Kingdom. Over a million people contributed to this digital snapshot of the country.
People were asked to record what they thought would be of interest in another 1000 years. It was about documenting everyday life.
The photo shows three kids, two in their Casual attire while one is still in his school uniform. The first impression is that Casual was now mainstream. It was everywhere from these young lads right through to teenagers and young adults. They were obviously influenced by the older lads in the area. The photo was taken in Paddy's Market on Great Homer Street in Liverpool which is just off Scotland Road, which was at the epicentre at the beginning of the culture in the late 70s.
The BBC website can be found here; http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/domesday



Sunday, 15 May 2011

DAKAR JACKET IN-STORE






The Navy Dakar Jacket is now Online and ready to pre-order and you can expect delivery in the next week or so. We still await the arrival of the Deep Red version, which once released by customs will be put In-Store immediately.
The first jacket in our desert collection is inspired by the drivers and riders of the Dakar rally (originally run from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal) which is an off road endurance race across dunes, mud, camel grass and rocks. This lightweight coated cotton fabric is shower proof and robust. The outer shell features two large waist pockets with anti sand flaps, external fit adjusters for easy access while on the move, chest height map pocket with retractable compass, vented underarms and storm flap at neck. Internally there are two large stow pockets and a detachable fluid pouch with intake tube for hydration on long journeys. The inner neck contains a removable sand balaclava for protection in unpleasant conditions. This is all finished off with contrast inner taped seams, heavy duty/press studs and a compact shower hood concealed in the outer neck.


Saturday, 14 May 2011

80s CASUALS on EBAY

Here is the chance to own a piece of history. Co-author of the 80s Casuals book Jay Montessori is selling off many rare items from his collection which has taken over 20 years to accumulate.
Most of the clothing for sale on ebay has been featured in the best selling 80s Casuals book.
In the past we have been approached by a Museum about the acquisition of the whole collection for display but the deal fell through once government cuts were put in place. Therefore the chance of a major exhibition also disappeared with the cut-backs.
Check the following ebay link for clothing from iconic 80s labels including Fila, Sergio Tacchini, Cerruti 1881, Berghaus, C.P. Company, Lacoste and Armani, the likes of which may not appear on ebay again for many years to come.

REVENGE on CASUALS




Director Joe Wright's latest film is Hanna. The tale of a 16 year old trained by her father to be the perfect assassin. When Hanna is despatched across Europe on a mission, she is tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives. These operatives are attired in yellow and navy Fila Terrindas with an added Tacchini Polo T-Shirt thrown in for good measure.
The Director appears to be releasing some sort of pent-up emotion in his choice of 80s Casual clothing as he says in a recent interview "Tom Hollander's character is a kind of revenge on the Casual kids who used to beat me up at school. They all wore Tacchini tracksuits, so I thought I'd put Tom in a Tacchini tracksuit, lip gloss, and have him beaten up by a girl! It felt quite cathartic!"
The film has been getting decent reviews and has a soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers. It is in cinemas now and is in the top 5 films this week.


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

HISTORY of SOLE T-SHIRT


A new design available in a few weeks is our 'History of Sole' T-Shirt. Taking the shape of a classic Nike trainer, the image incorporates iconic trainers from an era where adidas and Nike were reaching a pinnacle in design and the footwear was still being made in places like Yugoslavia, West Germany and France. Diadora and Puma are also represented for being a part of the Casual heritage.


Sunday, 8 May 2011

MADE in JAPAN ADVENTURE JACKET




80s Casuals takes a giant step this month with a jacket that epitomises the whole Casual ethos. This jacket is for the purist, the one who wants the finest materials, exclusivity, plus innate style with meticulous attention to detail. The Adventure Jacket is 'Made in Japan' which guarantees all of the above.
Finest Materials; The body of the jacket is made from Cordura 1000 and has been sourced from a U.S. Military Department Surplus Company. This material is much stronger than other Cordura material on the market as it is specifically for Military use. This makes the jacket really strong as well as waterproof and windproof.
The Pockets are made of Teijin Tarpolin which is also waterproof plus fireproof. There is a light weight alloy D ring and a double two way zip.
Exclusivity; Due to the cost of production, only 10 jackets have been manufactured with just 5 being imported this month. We will only have these exclusively available on our website at a cost of £250 because if we were to supply stores the real cost of the jacket should be in the region of £425.
Attention to Detail; This has always been the hallmark of the Japanese and the reason why so much 'Made in Japan' produce is making its way to these shores. The attention to detail is also reflected in the price of these goods with jackets being sold at upwards of £500+.
Our people in Japan are at the forefront of design and we have left the production and design of the 'Adventure Jacket' in their capable hands to get the authenticity and quality of a Japanese garment. They have come up with a jacket that is at the cutting edge of design at the moment. Contrast colours [although black] and materials are being used by designers such as Nigel Cabourn and the guys at Albam and our designers have given us a durable jacket that can last a lifetime. They also tell us all aspects of the jacket can be repaired in Japan if there is ever a problem.


DAKAR JACKET UP-DATE




News reaches us that the Dakar Jacket is finally en-route to this land. Upon receipt we will distribute to stockists immediately, therefore expect stores to have supplies in the next two weeks.
The jacket comes in Midnight Blue and Deep Red and has accessories including a Balaclava, a Compass and a Water Pouch. RRP is £150.
Stockists include Hip, Terraces, An-X, Camisera, Ran, Henry Brummel, Xile, Casual Clobber, Manifesto and Originals.


Saturday, 7 May 2011

NEW LIVERPOOL MUSEUM INTERVIEW




It was a great honour for 80s Casuals to have recently been asked to participate in an interview and to contribute an original pair of 1980s adidas Grand Slam to the new Liverpool Museum.
The museum based and newly built on the World Heritage site at Liverpool's Pier Head waterfront is due to open on 19 July 2011. It is the largest new build National museum in over a century. The £72m building will represent the 800+ years of the City of Liverpool showcasing the history and culture of its people.
Peter Hooton [The Farm and The End magazine] and myself were asked to say a few words on the Casual culture that enveloped the city in the late 70s/early 80s. The interview took place in Ran on Bold Street Liverpool a few months back and will apparently be shown on a loop in a section commited to Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere fans. The area will display memorabilia from supporters of each club.
The adidas Grand Slam were donated to support the Casual era as they were one of the first pair of trainers brought back from Europe in the early 80s that weren't available in the U.K.
The trainers are extremely rare because they have Grand Slam on the side which adidas have been unable to replicate for many years due to the words 'Grand Slam' being copyrighted by the governing Tennis elite.


VEGAS - IT'S GRIM UP NORTH T-SHIRT


Our latest offering on the T-Shirt front is a tongue in cheek twist on the iconic Vegas sign in America mixed in with a typical image of 1960s flats and a list of Northern towns and cities from the lyrics to KLF's 'It's Grim up North'.
The saying itself has a place in Casual culture from the 80s. It appeared on the station walls for all to see as trains departed for the North from Euston in London. The drab greyness of the place names in the 1990 KLF song were obviously on the mind of the graffiti artist.
The graffiti at Euston actually led to a question being asked in the House of Commons over the 'regional imbalance' between the North and South.
The T-Shirt will be in production very soon and available in stores towards the end of May.


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

MENTALITA' ULTRAS T-SHIRTS


We recently reported on the demise of the Italian fan label Mentalita' Ultras. For 15 years the brand was embraced as part of the culture on the terraces across Italy with it's 'Cheeky Boy' symbol becoming instantly recognizable.
A new store aimed at those who like to divulge themselves in football and music cultures has just launched and it's here where it is probably the last chance to pick up one of the made in Italy Mentalita' Ultras designs as they will no longer be produced.
The store is the only one we know of in the U.K. who have a limited stock.


Monday, 2 May 2011

80s CASUALS - RUSSIA

We get many visitors to this blog site from all over the World. The influence and imagery of the Casual era transcends any foreign language and interestingly blogs and social network sites keep all informed of what was once the most unreported of cultures.
One such site we have heard of, from Gene a member of the 80s Casuals forum, is the Russian social network site http://vkontakte.ru/eightiescasuals
The community is open to all Russian speaking lads in Russia and the Ukraine and engages in talk on all things to do with being finely attired and going to the match.