When I first moved to London, my housemate Nick took me exploring around the streets of Shoreditch. On out travels, we discovered Sick, which is one of the weirdest shops I have ever seen. The lights were off, the clothes were hung from random hooks amongst framed New Kids on the Block pictures, and three classic East London goth girls were sitting in a circle with their backs to the door. Obviously, I had to go in!
The shop was crammed with what looks like a lot of customised leather and pvc, and vintage pieces - all in either black, white or washed out denim. Everything felt a little bit crusty, but in that genuine-this-has-come-out-of-an-80s-teenager's-wardrobe way. Which was nice. There was also lots and lots and...lots of BOY London T-shirts, caps, etc etc, which was a logo that I recognised but am in no way cool-enough to pretend I knew a lot about. I liked it though, it was simple, strong, effective.
I left the shop empty handed, as is always the case when I am confronted with too many things that I like (Beyond Retro, for me, is simultaneously heaven and hell). My brain gets seriously overloaded and my indecisiveness leads me straight outta there.
But the BOY logo stuck in my brain, it seemed really familiar and iconic, and over the last few weeks I've been thinking I should probably go back to the shop and get a t-shirt. In the meantime, that weird thing happened when you discover something properly for the first time, only for it suddenly to be everywhere.
Yeah, that is Chloe Sevigny, queen of everything that is cool, wearing a BOY t-shirt. Months ago. I'm obviously way behind the times on this one. Specifically, about 30 years behind the times, because 1980 was when Stephane Raynor founded his label BOY London, after years working with Malcom McClaren and generally being a super significant person in the punk/New Romantic/subsequent Blitz Kid movements. He employed Billy Idol, Chrissie Hynde hung out in the shop, and Boy George was (naturally) a kind of public face of the brand. BOY London was huge (but as I was just a vague thought at the back of my Mum's mind in 1980, I'll let myself off for not knowing quite how legendary the logo was.)
Anyway, so it transpires Stephane Raynor is the owner of SICK, which makes perfect sense, and it also transpires that BOY is having something of a massive, unavoidable resurgence. To the point where Urban Outfitters have now collaborated with Stephane and are selling the original BOY designs, in black, white and grey, in their shops and online.
So now you don't even have to live in East London to get a piece of the BOY action (har har har). I'll be stopping by the Oxford St store to have a nosy at the collaboration, and attempting to decide what to buy. My somewhat enormous hair rules out the wearing of baseball caps, I'm tempted by the subtle black-on black sweatshirt, but ultimately I think a classic tee is an essential addition to my collection.
Stephane Raynor's Myspace
One of the SickGirl's personal blog
Urban Outfitters to fulfil your need for BOY
Images: Rex, Urban Outfitters