The Martin Jones Archives - Part 3

Goldie with B Boys members Gary ‘Birdie’ Burns and Hanifa McQueen Hudson, Park Village, Wolverhampton, July 1986. Mural by Birdie. Image - Martin Jones

On our final day in the Big Apple in June 1986 we hit a clothes store that specialised in rare/one-off Hip Hop designs and brought back some amazing gear including a red Reebok Trooper tracksuit, goose-downer jackets, Kangol hats and Cazal sunglasses. The picture shows Goldie with fellow graf artist/dancer Birdie and B-girl Hanifa modelling the latest fashions.

Hats were an important in style terms and from 85 onwards Kangol hats were the most sought-after item. Ironically these were not available in the UK – they were made by a long-established firm of gentlemen’s hat-makers in the Lake District of the UK and exported to the US where they were adopted by groups like Run DMC. To get one you had to know someone in New York who would send you one (or go there yourself on a shopping expedition, as we did). The other must-have items at this time were belt buckles with your street name on them.

The B Boys had several sets of tracksuits for public performances in the years 84-86. I was lucky enough to know an importer/ wholesaler who was happy to let us have complete sets of tracksuits free, so B Boys could promote them. We began with ‘Australian’ for B Boys’ televised battle with Coventry’s Future Shock. For their performance on the Electro Rock film, we were given red and blue Kappa tracksuits.

When the film was released, I approached Puma directly, who agreed to fit out the crew with complete sets of tracksuits and trainers for a promotional tour and TV appearances. B Boys must have thought all their Christmases had come at once as they were invited to roam the Puma factory and choose what they wanted.

The Martin Jones Archives - Part 3