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Exploring Dickies' Deep Roots in Music
Over the years, we've become the unofficial outfitters to musicians and music lovers everywhere. This didn't happen overnight; rather, it resulted from numerous pockets of culture within the music scene adopting the Dickies brand and putting their own spin on it.
On the face of it, you could be fooled into thinking that our popularity within music was solely down to the fact that our hardwearing products stand up to the strain that live shows and tours throw at you. Moshing and stage diving is a lot more fun when you know that your favorite pair of pants will come out in one piece.
Scratch the surface, though, and you will see that our roots in music are a lot deeper than our products' function. Scratching the surface is exactly what we intend to do. Whack on your favorite playlist and read on to find out more. If you're stuck for inspiration, check our Dickies Spotify channel, where you will find curated playlists from a selection of our skate team.
Where It All Began
Music has been in our blood since our humble beginnings in 1922. Dickies' co-founder EE "Colonel" Dickie loved his music, as shown in the photo above, where you can see the Colonel in front of Dickies' first factory in Fort Worth, Texas.
You can trace our roots in contemporary music culture back to southern California in the 1980s, where the brand was appropriated outside of the workplace by Hispanic and Latino Americans, as well as skaters.
Dickies and the Hip Hop scene
Hip hop icons of the 90s took inspiration from Latino American and Hispanic culture, adopting the Dickies brand. Hip hop and fashion go hand in hand, with fashion references popping up in lyrics and ultimately dictating commercial success, think Biggie and Versace. Hip hop icons of the time like Tupac and Beastie Boys were seen donning Dickies.
Tupac had his own customized pair of Dickies' Denim Bib Overalls, embroidered with his famous slogan "THUG LIFE". A look that was replicated by Eminem during his early live shows where he would enter the stage brandishing a chainsaw, wearing a Jason (Freddy vs Jason) ice hockey mask and a pair of Dickies' Denim Bib Overalls. Our Denim Bib Overall is still a best-seller today.
Snoop Dogg has also been a significant influence in ingraining Dickies within the hip hop scene. He would coordinate our Short Sleeve Work Shirt with our 874 Original Fit Work Pant, worn a few sizes too big to give the period's favored baggy look.
Our foundations in hip hop can be still seen today. Two of the best-dressed men in hip hop, A$AP Rocky and Kanye West rock the Ox Collar logo to great sartorial effect. Both of which effortlessly proved that less is sometimes more and that you can make the biggest and best fashion statements by integrating both high and low fashion into your wardrobe.
Dickies and Pop-Punk
Shortly after our rise to fame via the rap game, we saw a new wave of pop-punk and skate punk groups come to the limelight in the late 90s. Bands like Blink-182 and Sum 41 took inspiration from both the hip hop and skate scenes.
Icons of the scene like Travis Barker (Blink 182) could be seen pairing our Multi Pocket Work Shorts with pulled up white socks, a look that has endured to this day. Unsurprisingly we became a clothing staple within the genre.
Dickies and Alternative Metal
Whilst Dickies was gaining popularity in genres with mainstream appeal during the 80s and 90s, we also gained traction in alternative scenes like metal, grunge, hardcore and emo, to name a few.
Alternative metal started taking hold at a similar time as Pop Punk, creating a new youth culture with its own disruptive fashion tastes. Think sportswear, band t-shirts, baggy trousers (the baggier, the better) and chain wallets.
Dickies became a mainstay in the movement. Frontmen such as Chino Moreno of Deftones were often seen sporting a pair of oversized 874 Work Pants in a variety of colours including brown, blues and khaki. Next time you're at a gig, see how many Dickies logos you can spot!
Dickies and the Mainstream
A huge driver of the popularity of youth culture in general during the 90s was MTV. Think back to a time before social media, shock horror. MTV featured subversive bands and artists from multiple genres, including hip hop, pop-punk and alternative metal. This exposure was the catalyst Dickies needed to embed itself within broader youth culture.
This laid the foundations for us to move from subcultures to the mainstream in the early millennia when pop icons like Gwen Stefani and Madonna started wearing Dickies. Since then, we've carried on in the same vein, remaining a popular fit with current mainstream musicians like Jaden Smith and Justin Bieber.
It's All About Authenticity
Whilst we love music over here at Dickies, we never set out to have such deep roots in it. It just sort of happened. Why? Well, we think it has something to do with our authenticity. For nearly 100 years, we've been unwavering in our commitment to delivering durable products at fair prices. In an industry where so many take without giving back, genuinely authentic brands shine through. It also helps if your pants can withstand the odd knee slide or two.
We want to thank the hip hop heads, pop-punk icons, alternative metal forefathers and all the other musical genres that have adopted us over the years. We look forward to welcoming the next generation of musical subcultures into the Dickies family.
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DICKIES WORKWEAR SINCE 1922 FORT WORTH TEXAS U.S.A.