After the Mods had tired themselves of fighting Rockers on the beach, when they had finally come down from their trippy, hippy amphetamine highs, and when swinging London had swung by; it was time for a new youth subculture to sweep the nation during the summer of ’69.
Rejecting the long scraggly hair of the hippy generation and their fancy flared garms, working class kids began to redefine what working class kids should look like. Borrowing the tropes and beats of the West Indians, the hum of their beloved sca, tribes of young kids like the Bethnal Green Boys and Mile End Mob started to radicalise their look.
Out came the big boots, the kind their Dads wore, the kind bus drivers wore, the kind working men wore. Dr. Martens in brown, black, and oxblood were then teamed with Brutus shirts, braces, and beaten-up jeans, and the heads were brutally scalped. And with that, the Skinhead was born.
Channelling this idea of the working man’s pride, and collaborating with Brutus, Trojan Records, Alpha Industries, Edwin Europe, Mike Skinner from the Streets who has made a short film, and photographer Gavin Watson who shot the campaign, Dr. Martens presents its coolest collection to date.
A stripped, paired down, worn aesthetic and no nonsense palette of blacks, browns, and oxbloods for the shoes, lots of unisex jackets with a Brutalist, military feel – Skinheads were about being a part of something. Iconic Brutus shirts in reds and yellows, and roughed up jeans worn high, make up this refreshingly modern interpretation of the spirit of ’69.
Written by Tish Weinstock