80s Casuals Information
Below is an interview with Dave Hewitson of 80s Casuals which gives an insight into the brand and what we can expect in the future. The q&a first appeared in Liverpool fanzine BOSS and we have kindly been allowed to reproduce it here.
Tell us a bit about 80s Casuals the brand
80s Casuals was started as a reminder of those great days on the terraces. A time when fashion was as much a part of going the game as the match itself. Around 2004/05 a few t-shirts were printed with Adidas trainers on. Forest Hills, Trimm-Trab, Stan Smith etc reminding us of great days as teenagers running amok in Europe searching out the latest trainees.
The T-Shirts were put on ebay and in Tessuti, Chester by my partner Jay and a mate Mike. I became involved with having the potential of adding to the design and print plus getting them into more shops. From there on the word spread about the label and soon the brand spread around the country in a similar way to the old casual culture itself.
In those 5 years we have evolved and still are. The T-Shirts now cover other aspects of youth culture ie; the late 80s rave years and other genres including music, film and even art.
Has 80s Casuals changed since the early days and what does the future hold?
Our main aim now is to bring out a twice yearly collection of clothes but at the moment we are taking one step at a time and introducing a garment every few months. This Winter sees us producing a Seamaster jacket, a long sleeve polo, a sweat-shirt and beanie hat as Limited Edition pieces. Restricting the production to 100 per colour and only two colours per garment keeps the brand quite exclusive plus we only supply one shop per town/city. Every high street in every town now looks the same, with the same brands/labels in every shop. We want to bring that individuality back like it was throughout the 80s. We think people will find our gear is just as good on quality as some stuff that's twice the price and hopefully that customer will keep coming back for the quality, style and exclusiveness at a good price.
What's it like seeing your clothes sported throughout the land?
Its still a great thrill to see someone wearing the clothing. I saw a Transalpino T-Shirt, which we did about 5 years ago, at the recent SOS day at St Georges Hall in Liverpool and I'm still going to the Mrs "there's one of our tee shirts". That also actual proves my theory on quality, as it still looked new.
Define 80s Casuals with one particular piece
For 5 years the T-Shirts have been the core of the brand, but we want to be known as a clothing label. If one piece could define 80s Casuals now then maybe it's the Seafarer jacket from last Winter which sold out in a week. We proved to ourselves that we can design a piece of clothing that looked good and was of outstanding quality at the right price. Thus confirming we had turned a corner from being just a T-Shirt brand.
What happened with Adidas and the trainer t-shirts?
Adidas kindly asked us to stop producing the trainer tee's which to be honest gave us a kick up the arse and forced us to get our thinking caps on design wise. We knew it would end one day. We were just glad it ended without acrimony and one of their guys, Gary Aspden actually wrote the intro to the re-issue of 'The Liverpool Boys are in town'. So alls well as they say.
Actually from this little scenario came one of our best selling tees. It's grim up North was a re-interpretation of Banksys "Tourist Information" with us replacing the hoodie in front of the graffiti "Tourist Information" with our own scally dressed in a C.P.Company jacket and the graffiti "It's grim up North" sprayed behind him. Those words are what you would see on leaving Euston as you headed out of the station in the 80s.
How did the 80's Casuals book come about?
The 80s Casuals book came about because my partner Jay had a massive collection of 80s trainers and sportswear. We had approached Liverpool museum about doing an exhibition and before they backed out at the last minute, I had mentioned about producing a book to coincide with it. Back on our own we decided to publish it ourselves and went about designing it with the help of Mike March Design and then printing 2000. Passing it to our clothing stockists plus Waterstones and HMV in Liverpool and our website meant that we had the stores in place to sell it. Within 3 months we had sold out.