Contrary to what the name “casuals” might suggest, football casuals distinguish themselves by wearing quality designer clothes. But what do football casuals clothing brands such as Fred Perry, Stone Island and Adidas have to do with football?
When did the casual culture start?
When football clubs such as West Ham United, Liverpool and Everton began touring Europe in the 1980s, they were joined by a steady fan base and supporters. These trips were not always without disturbances. The expensive clothes with which the supporters of these clubs returned, were often stolen during riots from the shops of exclusive Italian or French fashion brands. They wore these expensive designer clothes to be able to move as inconspicuously as possible in groups, without being noticed by the police.
Because these had a typical image of the clothing that hooligans wore at the time, wearing football casual brands went unnoticed by the police or supervisors. These mainly had the image of bomber jackets and Dr. Martens shoes for themselves when they had to search the crowd for rioters. By means of expensive designer clothes, the football hooligans were able to move about as freely as possible. This English subculture, which originated in the 1970s, also spread to other countries in Europe in the mid-1980s. It was in the 1990s that this subculture received a major boost again. Football casuals gained a much wider audience after this time.
The expensive designer clothes were worn by the supporters of the football clubs to distinguish themselves, and imitation brands of the clothes were not tolerated. When authorities and the police also began to see a connection between supporters wearing the Stone Island clothing brand, the well-known brand logo with the compass was often removed from the clothing. The Stone Island logo was easy to remove from the clothing by means of buttons, but real insiders recognized this clothing style immediately. This brand was of course still worn, but other football casual brands also became popular among the followers of this subculture. The Stone Island logo was also associated with the so-called Celtic cross by the police. This was also one of the reasons why the casual scene started wearing other clothing brands. Stone Island is, according a survey of footballcasuals.net, the most poplar hooligan clothing brand. Followed by C.P. Company and then Lyle & Scott. On their website you will find a list of the top 20 brands.