Pair of Boots

early 1970s (made)
Pair of Boots thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This outfit was worn in the 1970s by the skinhead photographer John G Byrne, who has been a skinhead since 1971. This outfit was displayed in the V&A's Streetstyle exhibition of 1994 to represent 1970s skinhead clothing. At the time of the exhibition, Mr Byrne told the press:

"'I was only eleven when I first became interested in skinheads and I was about twelve when I really became part of it. Skinheads liked being tidy and clean, everything had to be just right; half-inch turn-ups, half-inch braces. I liked the reggae music that early skinheads were into. I used to go to a club called Mr Bee's in Peckham where they played reggae and soul. The club was always full of black Jamaicans - I used to go with my friends and people were always really friendly. There wasn't trouble, like people always say.'"
(Interview with the donor by Sarah Callard for The Independent, Saturday 25 September 1994)


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Boot
  • Boot
Materials and Techniques
Leather
Brief Description
Boots, black leather, 10 holes, Dr. Martens, Great Britain, early 1970s
Physical Description
Pair of black leather lace-up boots, a 10 holes type.
Dimensions
  • Length: 291mm
  • Width: 111mm
  • Height: 235mm
Object history
Registered File number 1994/1208, Streetstyle exhibition 1994-1995, in the exhibition it was part of an outfit called 'Skinhead UK 1971' (includes the jacket T.586-1994, the jeans T.587-1994, the braces T.588-1994 and the shirt T.589-1994).





Part of a skinhead outfit put together and worn by John G. Bryne, who first became a skinhead at the age of 12 in 1971, and was still following the style when this outfit was displayed at the V&A. All the elements of the outfit were purchased in Brighton, where John G. Byrne lives.



"'I was only eleven when I first became interested in skinheads and I was about twelve when I really became part of it,' explains John G. Byrne, a gay skinhead living in Brighton. [...] 'Skinheads liked being tidy and clean, everything had to be just right; half-inch turn-ups, half-inch braces,' he says. It figures that the early Skinheads inherited this attention to detail from their subcultural predecessors, the mods. They also shared some of same taste in music, 'I liked the reggae music that early skinheads were into. I used to go to a club called Mr Bee's in Peckham where they played reggae and soul. The club was always full of black Jamaicans - I used to go with my friends and people were always really friendly. There wasn't trouble, like people always say.'"



(John G. Byrne, interviewed by Sarah Callard for "The British supermarket of style", published in The Independent, Saturday 25 September 1994).
Summary
This outfit was worn in the 1970s by the skinhead photographer John G Byrne, who has been a skinhead since 1971. This outfit was displayed in the V&A's Streetstyle exhibition of 1994 to represent 1970s skinhead clothing. At the time of the exhibition, Mr Byrne told the press:



"'I was only eleven when I first became interested in skinheads and I was about twelve when I really became part of it. Skinheads liked being tidy and clean, everything had to be just right; half-inch turn-ups, half-inch braces. I liked the reggae music that early skinheads were into. I used to go to a club called Mr Bee's in Peckham where they played reggae and soul. The club was always full of black Jamaicans - I used to go with my friends and people were always really friendly. There wasn't trouble, like people always say.'"

(Interview with the donor by Sarah Callard for The Independent, Saturday 25 September 1994)
Bibliographic Reference
Surfers, Soulies, Skinheads & Skaters : Subcultural Style from the Forties to the NinetiesDescribed in the exhibition publication, part of an outfit called 'Skinhead UK 1971'.
Collection
Accession Number
T.590:1, 2-1994

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record createdMay 19, 2009
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