My boosting career started in 1987 in the Polo by Ralph Lauren Kids section. I use to go to a department store by the name of Abraham & Strauss located down town Brooklyn in the Fulton Ave Shopping District. What was odd was the Department store only sold the kids line of the brand and never the adult sizes. When I first seen this ad I thought it was dope. Just looking at the ad took me back to those days before I lost my innocence. But as I analyzed the ad and the down vest and goose feathered filled coat was that there were no Logos on either one if the items. I believe this ad was produced for the 1984-85 Boys collection and the same designs were released again the following seasons but later included the "Universal Badge logo" aka "The Uni". That particular collection is the need jet fuel the brand needed to help take it to stratospheric heights.
I seen this ad and bugged out because the Swatch Watch featured in this particular ad I actually owned. I remember buying it for $25 from a flea market in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn back in 1987. I also bought a matching watch guard that covered over the face. The watch guard the glass of the watch and protected it from scratches and abrasions.
Vintage Fila ad from the mid 80s featuring the classic sweat suits and puffer ski jackets. This style sweat suits were referred to the "Wet" suits because of the style of fabric that was used too construct the suit looked as if it was drenched in water.
Before brands like Polo were household names and was the go to brand for urban fashionistas, Coca-Cola Clothing was the shit in the hood! you were the man if you had a Cop-Cola rugby or sweater. The brightly designed brand was mostly a mesh of primary color blocking that was popular during the 80s. The brand was licensed to The Murjani family who were apparel manufacturers with generations of experience in the business. At the time the Murjani Family hired a young unknown designer by the name of Tommy Hilfiger to design the brand of clothing.
In this episode Rack-Lo goes down Lo Life memory lane. He tells an amazing tale of a Million Man Rush at the famous Lord & Taylor department store. In a time when street survival and street fashion were at the fore front of New York City, Rack-Lo was there recon havoc establishing himself as a legend and Lo Life Street icon. Peep the grittines of the rush. Directed by Rack-Lo and Filmed and Edited by Can It Productions. Visit the online store @ WWW.RLJEWELRY.NET
During the late-’80s, two groups of teenagers from neighboring areas of Brooklyn came together to form a boosting (shoplifting) crew with a common goal— accumulate as much Polo Ralph Lauren as possible, by any means possible. Known as the Lo Lifes, they dressed themselves in the finest garments stolen from every upper-class department store in the tri-state area, while living a reality that was the complete opposite of what Ralph Lauren represented. To the authorities the Lo Lifes were criminals, but to themselves and people on the streets, their actions signified something else. They aspired to be something greater, and empowered themselves by taking something that wasn’t meant for them and making it their own.
The Infamous BFOs. This was considered a spot for dudes who knew of it's existence in the mid to late 80s. What made this a spot was because it sold all of the top department store brands including Polo by Ralph Lauren, Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger to name a few. The store was really in the cut literally! It was located on 21st street in manhattan on the second floor of an office building. The store looked liked like an outlet inside with clothes folded up on wooden tables with the jackets and coats hanging up on wooden hangers on a long iron pole that protruded from the wall. back in those days you can go into BFO and find an exclusive Polo item for the low low or get it for an even better price with the five finger discount. To hear more stories about BFO check out my podcast and new book set for release soon.
This year marked the 25th Anniversary of the Polo by Ralph Lauren 1992 P-Wing Stadium Collection. Ralph decided to re-release the collection to the masses again after seeing the interest Lo heads had for the vintage pieces. These particular items first became notably favorable amongst Lo-Lifes and other boosters from Brooklyn back in 1992 because of the unique olympic theme design and large logo placements.
Limited Edition 25th Anniversary 1992 NY Daily News Cover Tee featuring original Lo-Life Shillz da Realz wearing a Polo by Ralph Lauren cream turtleneck knit 92 Sit down bear. The photo was taken by news reporters at a youth program in Brooklyn ran by Mrs. Carthan (seen also in the photo). She happens to also be the Mother in Law of Original Lo-Lifes Founding Member Rack-Lo. The program was made to deter kids from violence and crime by showing thenm alternative ways to channel their anger and frustration. Ironically the day this photo was taken me and rack had just came from Manhattan stealing. We both ran out of The Gap with a stacks of shirts and went straight to the program with our knapsacks full to capacity. The reporters who were doing the interview kept asking us "Whats in the bag?" we told them old gym clothes from our locker in school we had to clean out. Lol! The Limited Edition tees (with the 1992 printed on the arm and back) are available up to Jan.1st. Get yours today before the deadline.