The Farah Story

Fashion / September 17, 2014
by admin

So how did a brand famed for its hard wearing work shirts and military fatigues, once synonymous with cartoon barmen and my year 7 physics teacher (true story), become one of the most fashionable brands in the world? Actually, it’s a bit of a mystery…

“All I know is that in the late ‘70s both black and white kids in south London started to wear things like Farah, trainers, designer tops and to be honest a lot of robbing went on to get the stuff.” – Norman Jay, British DJ

Adopted by Football Casuals in the 1980s Farah and other designer goods served a couple of different purposes – as well as suggesting that the wearer had money, a nice bit of misdirection if they were up to no good, it also enabled them to get into pubs and clubs that had outlawed football colours.

It wasn’t just the Casuals that adopted Farah as their own – mods, skinheads and rockabillies all fell head over heels for Farah’s sharp, slim cut trousers, which seem to have a fluid quality that changed their ‘message’ depending on whether they were partnered with a shaved head and suspenders or a bowl cut and t-shirt.

One of the reasons Farah found a home in the UK, after a very long stint of being sold exclusively in the USA, is surprisingly utilitarian. Farah trousers boasted stain resistant technology, the likes of which had never been seen in the UK before. You don’t have to go to many gigs or be much of a clubber to know that nights out are a messy business. Farah’s original hopsack trousers could take whatever punishment people threw at them without looking filthy in the hard light of day and, for that reason, became fast favourites on the indie and clubbing scenes.

Farah continued to grow into the noughties, with members of Editors, The Cribs, The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys all sporting the iconic ‘F’ tab. It even saw some time on the small screen courtesy of Jack O’Conell’s character, James Cook, in Skins. The revival of mod/skinhead culture in the past few years, due in no small part to This is England, has also been very good to the brand.

I know one thing for sure– my physics teacher would be thrilled to know that he was ahead of the curve. Please don’t tell him.

Shop the full range of Farah Vintage at Scotts by clicking here

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