Liverpool is synonymous with a lot of things. Everyone thinks their city is unique, but Liverpool really is different… from the accent to the rich musical heritage and the incredible success of its football clubs. It is the success of the Liverpool and Everton that is one of the reasons behind another characteristic of Liverpool and specifically Liverpool lads: their love of decent clobber.
Vivienne Westwood said… “Liverpool people are famous for liking clothes and fashion; they are very social and lively people, and we know that they like clothes.”
There are lazy, London centric stereotypes around Liverpool that we all tire of and one often mentioned is scouser’s love of tracksuits. It’s another example of a long line of stupid, ignorant jibes at Liverpudlians which for me generally smack of jealously and simply ‘not getting it.’
Scouser’s sense of adventure, cheekiness and exploration was perfectly fuelled from the late 1970s by Liverpool Football Club’s prolonged and unrivalled success within European football. It allowed thousands of young lads to travel through Europe following their beloved reds and discovering new places, new cultures and importantly; new threads.
It is this rich history and experience which gives Liverpudlians their unique reputation as being welcoming, interested and excited by something new. It is that rich history which has allowed Liverpool fans to travel to the likes of Galatasaray and have no trouble, instead quite the opposite, be welcomed and take all the sting out of the so called ‘hell’ with that now infamous Grafton banner. The same can easily be said for the more ‘lively’ aways in Italy… Germany and Eastern Europe.
It is that rich history which now shows on the streets and in the pubs and clubs of Liverpool in the way which Liverpool lads dress. During those glorious years in Europe Liverpool fans were able to acquire unusual and high quality sportswear and trainers from the boutiques of Paris and Milan.
Peter Hooton of the Farm has said previously
… “In the post-punk revolution of ’78/79, Adidas Samba ruled the terraces of Anfield and Goodison, quickly followed by Stan Smith’s, before Puma struck back with its Argentina (blue leather, white stripe) and the much sought after Puma Menotti.
Trainer wars were well underway and European away matches were the perfect opportunity to acquire those obscure training shoes available in Germany, but not in Liverpool.
Most of the training shoe addicts would never dream of getting a pair you could buy in the city centre in Liverpool. This was real fashion, and the competition was intense.”
The mainstream media didn’t get it, still citing the trainer craze as something which was influenced by America and the sportswear companies and stores across England didn’t latch on to the potential either. Buying a decent pair of trabs remained difficult in England.
It was one Wade Smith, a buyer for Adidas at the time who spotted the opportunity behind this footwear and sportswear revolution and convinced Adidas to let him stock 500 pairs of Forest Hills in Liverpool (they’d previously failed to sell in Topman’s flagship store in Oxford Street). They sold out. Wade Smith went on to open his four floor department store and have many successful years at the forefront of Liverpool fashion.
These legacies live on today with huge pride being taken by scouse lads in the way they look, whether it’s on the terraces or in the bars of Seel Street.
Giancarlo Ricci are proud to be able to continue to fuel those traditions and keep lads looking their best. We’re the only stockists outside London for the likes of Adidas Porsche Design
and strive to bring Liverpool new and exciting menswear that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Except maybe on those European travels!
Oh and can I just finish by saying, who says there is anything wrong with a decent tracksuit? Cockneys haven’t got a clue.
By Tom Johnson - Follow @gentlemancasual