Monthly Archives: April 2014

Stockists Profile: Blitz Vintage London


Billed as a vintage department store and taking up 9,000 square foot of prime London real estate, Blitz is the UK’s largest vintage clothing store.

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We’ve been stocked in Blitz since its debut in the summer of 2011. Our deliveries have included deadstock beanies, t shirts, snapbacks, bucket hats, bags, and of course, our own branded goods.


Blitz is located off Brick Lane, London’s long-established hub for vintage clothing. But despite heavy competition from Brick Lane institutions like Rockit and Beyond Retro and a seemingly saturated vintage market, Blitz has thrived. The shop offers what most shops in the area don’t: the rare mix of fashion-centric vintage and retro goods alongside  the genuinely old, more collectible pieces. For instance, chain stitched 70s varsity jackets might sit opposite new and pre-worn sweatshirts that have been tie dyed and dip dyed by hand that morning.


One reason we like supplying Blitz is because we can target female customers more easily.  We find a lot of Blitz shoppers won’t have actively sought out our branded product, but when they come face to face with it on the shelves they often find themselves seduced by the prints and designs, and end up making that impulsive purchase.

Their average customer also chooses to shop there because they want to find more original items, that you can’t find in every high street shop. So we have found great success with our headwear lines, which we strive to make unique.

You can find Blitz Vintage London @

55-59 Hanbury St
E1 5JP





Back Script Sports Specialties Snapbacks

We just had a Sports Specialties Script score! Amongst them are a bunch of awesome back script snapbacks.  The back script is a curious series that spawned from the draft day or coach cap.

The script snapback started as a single line snapback like the Sonics draft day cap below.  The draft day caps were first introduced in 1986 and were were one color wool blend hats. The hats usually had the city name in a Sans Sherif font, followed by the team nickname in a luxurious, looping scripture

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The draft day hat evolved in 1994 from the single line script to the Sports Specialties double line script. Here the original script font is outlined by a contrasting color threading, usually in the teams colors. The hat brim would also be in contrast to the crown, which was always white.


Sports Specialties also made non-draft day version of this hat, with different colorways, in wool and cotton twill.

Because the script hat doesn’t include the team logo, which is a big part of the team’s identity, they introduced the side logo script snapbacks.

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At around the same time Sports Specialties introduced the back script snapback.  This allowed the company to make hats with a big team logo on the front while keeping their trademark script font.

There are two styles of back script available; one with the regular double line scripture font, but at the back of the crown, and a second hat that has a contrasting colored side panel and a unique front logo.

The front logo of the second design represents the team through an initial as well as iconography that symbolizes the team. A concept that Starter also used with their image collection snapbacks.  The font on the contrast side panel back script is also more accentuated, with bigger arches and loops. (see kings and suns below)  Which do you prefer?
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Topshop Popup Summer 14

Topshop got in touch with us because they were looking for a hat supplier for the summer. We obliged and put together a feminine mix of snapbacks, beanies and 5 panels. Come see our popup space in the Topshop Oxford Circus brand, ground floor.

We are also now working on new designs specially made for Topshop with original floral prints, snakeskins, animal prints and leathers.

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Starter re-launches the Starter Jacket. A brief history of the company.

Fashion always runs in cycles. Fall 2013 saw the relaunch of Starter’s first ever – and most iconic – product, the Starter Jacket.  The jackets, which helped launch Starter from a fledgling sportswear company in the late 70s, to a huge multinational brand, began to appear on the shelves of Foot Locker. Pictured below

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Spec-wise the jackets are a perfect replica of the original jacket, the same thick satin exterior and same cut as the originals. However they do seem a little confused, mixing old team logos with new ones, and some of the new teams like the Ravens above, just don’t look quite right.  I think its the modern font on the team name.

The problem with Starter today is that it doesn’t pack the same credo as in its height, in the 80s and 90s. Back then Starter was the key player in launching a multi-billion dollar industry. Pre-starter, in the 70s there wasn’t such thing as fashionable fan apparel.  Then it came along with ground-breaking products like its jackets, jerseys and hats and suddenly sportswear was the thing to be seen wearing.

Recognizing that a lot of kids would wear their hats backwards, Starter innovated by putting their logo on the rear-centre of the cap, so that the company logo took center stage. The Starter logo became synonymous with the sports cap, as Starter encouraged its patrons to “look for the star.”  Starter owned a good part of the sports apparel industry for the best part of two decades.


But towards the end of the 90s Starter began to fade, and as licensing rights became more and more expensive and geared towards deals of exclusivity, Starter founds it more difficult to compete with the bigger brands like Nike and Adidas who had millions in cash reserves from dominating other markets like footwear.  Starter begun to realise it could make more money in its athletic wear than in its waning licensed sports lines, so the company invested its efforts into selling socks and budget t shirts to wall mart.  Into the 21st century, Starter had become a different entity all together, and the street cred it once carried was lost.

But fast forward another decade or so and with the growth of 80s & 90s-style fashion, the credo and appeal of Starter became re-imagined. Nostalgic sports fans, remembering the golden years of the NBA with the Chicago Bulls dazzling the world over, began seeking the clothing they grew up wearing, and young fashion conscious youths saw 90s snapback hats as a welcome change from New Era fitted cap dominance.

Starter couldn’t believe their luck when they watched on as their brand became fashionable again, but had their hands tied because they couldn’t compete for the multimillion dollar licensing agreements and did not have the resources to turn their sock company into a multi faceted apparel business.

So within their limited means, Starter teamed up with Refuel Brand in Europe in 2010, to launch the Starter Black Label. This saw the company remake hats with the Starter logo on, but for streetwear and fashion brands, musicians and more.  But the hats weren’t even faithful to the original shape. Some featured raised embroidery and round brims with stickers on that were more reminiscent of New Era fitted caps.

And the company would seemingly approve any design- some of their hats even copied vintage styles from other 90s brands like The Game, Drew Pearson and Sports Specialties. It just didn’t sit right at all. Below: Starter make Drew Pearson snapbacks for Supra


Which leads us back to 2013 and  Starter’s biggest attempt to reclaim their place in the licensed sportswear market.  Spearheaded by spokesperson and Dallas Cowboys player Tony Romo, Starter collaborated with Footlocker to remake the Starter jackets. The jackets releases were staggered with limited quantities, and the jackets were fairly well received.

But Starter moved too slow and its bid to revive the Starter jacket was probably 5 years too late. Repro Starter jackets could have blown up if they coincided with the beginning of the trend towards vintage sportswear, but instead they come out after the movement has already been in motion for years. Other companies had already released jackets like the Starter jacket and fans of vintage styles were already looking to other styles like the coach jacket.

Really the Starter jacket relaunch was a move by a misty-eyed Wall Mart supplier trying to relive its glory days, and its sad that Starter couldn’t have played a bigger part in the revival of 90s culture. But Starter is a 80s-90s company and that’s what made it great.  It helped define the era in sports culture and it was the leader in fashion and not a follower.


The History of the Ralph Lauren Polo Bear

The polo bear is probably Ralph Lauren’s most iconic image.  It has appeared in many guises over the course of the brand’s history, usually on sweatshirts and sweaters, but also on hoodies, caps, bedding and towels.


The story goes that during the company’s infant years, Ralph Lauren was given a thoughtful birthday present – a plush teddy bear, dressed in a typical Ralph Lauren western outfit.  The clothes on the bear were neatly tailored and made using the same fine materials as his regular branded apparel.


Lauren, so impressed with the gift, decided that such an original product should be made available to his customers too.  The bear was born, but the actual bear toys were expensive to make, and therefore expensive to sell, so only the real enthusiasts could afford them.  Therefore, Ralph Lauren started making items of clothing with the bear emblazoned on them.

The first sweaters appeared in 1991 and the lines ran until 2001.  2013, however, saw the bear reborn (pictured below).


As part of Ralph Lauren’s bring it back campaign, the bear sweater was the first item to be reborn into the contemporary Ralph Lauren collections.

If Polo is the biggest in hip-hop, the bear is the biggest line. Different polo bear items have become highly sought after and have been worn by a great deal of hip-hop heads like Drake, Kanye and Just Blaze. The Polo Bear trend can be seen as part of lo-life culture.

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The demand for Polo Bear never ceases, that’s why we’ve come up with some of our own polo bear items: 5 panels, watches and tees.

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The History of the Coach Jacket

Today the coach jacket is a staple of streetwear clothing brands. And like most streetwear trends, the jacket has its roots firmly in sportswear.  It seems that every facet of 90s sports wear has reemerged over the last few years as different lines in different brands’ catalogues.

The styles that often make the most impact are the pieces that are modelled on the gear the pros, or even the coach used to wear.  The coach is after all the boss man, so everything that he says, does or even wears has to be respected. From sports specialties’ Coach Caps, to his branded windbreaker jacket, the coach’s whole look has been borrowed.

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Packers’ Lindy Infante stands proud if his trend setting ensemble

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NWA in matching coach jackets

Having just bought out a European sports store that closed down in the 90s, we’ve got our hands on a bunch of authentic 90s coach jackets, still with the original tags. Most are USA Made from ’92, and all are in perfect crisp condition. SHOP

Many are the kind of classic fit coach jackets, with the pointed collar and snap-up front buttons that have provided inspiration for streetwear companies like Supreme and Stussy.  These companies are endlessly sourcing old product and getting their workshops to dissect the parts, and assemble their own nostalgic version.

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