Just like a pair of jeans, little black dress and a pair of converse, the slogan tee is a staple in any woman's wardrobe.
The slogan tee was a great way of telling others what you care about, or what 'tribe' your in.Back in the 70s, designers like Vivienne Westwood tapped into the emerging anti-establishment mentality of British youth with slogans designed to shock. Billed as “the ultimate punk-rock T-shirt”, her design featuring a swastika and inverted crucifix under the word “Destroy” became iconic of a musical and social movement.
In the 1980s, designer Katherine Hamnett used bold prints to fuse fashion with social issues. In their 1983 video for Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, pop band Wham! wore her print, “CHOOSE LIFE”, prompting millions of fans to adopt the slogan, which promoted an anti-drug and anti-suicide campaign.
The idea of using the humble tee to send a message caught on. In 1984 the BBC banned Relax, the debut single by Frankie Goes to Hollywood for its “explicitly sexual” lyrics. Inevitably it went straight to Number 1 and record label owner Paul Morley’s idea of printing “FRANKIE SAYS RELAX” onto white t-shirts turned millions of fans into protest billboards. The t-shirt was so iconic it is still one of the most popular slogans, long after the band’s career ended.
Theses days slogan tees are more popular than ever, think designer labels Zoe Karssen with their tongue in cheek slogans printed onto Linen and modal-blend jersey or Bella Freud and her fun quirky range of slogan luxurious knit wear using a 100% merino wool. Of course it doesn't just stop there even gym's and fitness gurus have cashed in on printed wear, so even if you never made it to the studio you can still wear the T-Shirt!
Left to Right
FIT - Sweaty Betty - £45 www.sweatybetty.com
No Crème Brulèe -Gemi & i - £36 www.gemiandi.com
TA - Tracy Anderson - $42 www.tracyanderson.com
French Kissing - Zoe Karssen - €60 www.zoekarssen.com
Bada Boum - Bella Freud - £226 www.netaporter.com