In the tide of Jamaican rude boy culture such as rock-steady and early reggae, a new British subculture emerged in the summer of 1969. Rejecting the hippie culture and its uniform of long scraggly hair and psychedelic bell-bottomed jeans, working class kids began to redefine themselves. They wanted a look that is fuss-free and real. So out came the big boots for roughing it out, braces that kept pants in place, beaten-up jeans and clean shaven heads. The latter earned them the moniker of “skinheads”. This first generation of skinheads had a practical approach to clothing that meant only the classic ruggedness of Dr Martens would do for shoes.
In an effort to bring that era forward, Dr Martens has teamed up with a handful of brands who have been greatly involved with the skinhead movement in its earliest days. The Spirit of ’69 campaign is a modern interpretation of the skinheads’ no-nonsense attitude and style that’s been captured by photographer Gavin Watson and musician Mike Skinner on the short film.
The Spirit of ’69 is centred around the footwear. Coming in a palette of black, brown and oxblood, the different styles of shoes have been done the way they were the first time. Traditional biscuit-backed leather is used, with signature flat cotton laces. The rest of the collection features MA-1 flight jackets by Alpha Industries, iconic ‘trimfit’ shirts by Brutus, bleached denim by Edwin Jeans, and a limited-edition leather record box done in collaboration between Dr Martens and Trojan Records.
The footwear, shirts and jeans are available at all Dr Martens stores, while the flight jacket or record box bag are only available on www.drmartens.com
Alpha Industries red bomber jacket, poa
Brutus shirt in yellow and checks, $119
Philips Capper boot in oxblood, $249
Trojan record box bag in oxblood, USD240