Wow....it's been nearly a full year since we launched Spinback and we've been overwhelmed by the reaction to our slogan T-Shirts, Hoodies and Sweatshirt. In the words of that iconic song by Depeche Mode it seems you 'just can't get enough' of our products! ❤️
Lockdown gave us an opportunity, the race for comfortable clothing to 'work at home' was massive, so we decided to do a spin on the normal and launched our very own range of printed tops. But who invented the slogan t-shirt in the first place?
The first slogan tees were sold back in the 1960's in a shop on London's Kings Road by two guys called Tommy Roberts and Trevor Myles. Their designs featured the Disney characters Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse and became hugely popular.
Vivienne Westwood took the trend a step further the next decade with politically motivated T-shirts, but it was in the 1980s that the slogan tee really came into its own with Katharine Hamnett's infamous designs.
Hamnett's designs were copied all over the world. Wham! wore a T-shirt with the slogan 'Number One' and 'Choose Life'. Frankie Goes to Hollywood had 'Frankie Says Relax'.
This was the time I got into slogan t-shirts, buying my first ever one at the well known 'fashion empire' of East Fortune Sunday Market, just outside Edinburgh. I remember a rather shapeless square cut, poor quality, poorly printed white t-shirt, with a big ugly size label in the back neck that gave me a rash, before I was wise enough to cut it off. But I thought I was ace in my Choose Life T-Shirt. 😆
I also remember being insanely jealous when my big brother John came home one day with an official 'Frankie Says Relax' T-Shirt, from HMV. I quickly realised this was of much better quality and I wanted it! I think I probably nabbed it when he went off to University dressed like Morrissey from The Smiths with his rolled up Levi jeans, DM's shoes and black satin bomber jacket with orange lining. 😂
I remember Madonna in her Papa Don't Preach video wearing her black 'Italians Do It Better' T-Shirt. I loved that top, so back off I went down to East Fortune Market to buy one. But my mum wouldn't let me buy it cos she said it was 'too rude'. I had no idea what she was on about but went in a teenage strop all the way home. 😐
During lockdown slogan t-shirts were everywhere, with rainbows and unicorns and quotes urging us all to 'Be Kind. I fully take on board the 'Be Kind' but I'd also like to add 'Have Fun'. Fun is good, you've gotta have fun. ❤️
Across the history of t-shirts, this wardrobe staple has certainly evolved from its original purpose, and is now a great and flexible tool for self expression.
What do your t-shirts say about you?