The most stylish gang in the universe #1

Dec 28, 2012

Black panthers protestRegardless of the multitude of seventies fashion faux-pas, there emerged a revolutionary political party that changed the wayAmerica thinks and dresses. The tumultuous years that had prevailed in the late Sixties, and the political upheavals that shaped the African American consciousness, were deeply influential in the development of a unique, stylish and recognizable getup. The Black Panther Party represented a new way of thinking for young Americans, it was revolutionary in every sense of the word. With it came a definable and proud sense of identity.

 Perhaps the most essential item in the Panthers wardrobe was his black roll neck sweater.The garment was worn giving the impression that the wearer possessed a deep, and critical understanding of French existentialism. The jumper implied formality without conforming to the standard buttoned shirt.

 Beyond that, the black leather blazer came to be a symbol of African American liberation, often worn upon the roll neck. Black on black represented the philosophy they were propagating in schools and community centres for over a decade. The jacket demanded respect on the streets and in the international media.

The beret topped off the look and provided the military presence and image that the organisation cultivated. A genuinely masculine set of clothes, dressed for purpose, with a strong sense of self respect and dignity.

 The style was harboured by the Black Panther leaders who manufactured the image of an organised, intelligent and dangerous political party. They were as unpromising and committed to their political ideology as they were to their powerful sense of dress.

Some more pictures here, here, and here.

George Marsden and Fadil Elobeid

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