The ‘Madchester’ scene was a phenomenon in musical and cultural history bringing together different people with a mutual love for music, dancing and taking mind altering substances.
Bands & artists like the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, A Guy Called Gerald & 808 State put Manchester on the map yet again to a national and worldwide audience of people looking for something new. With the new music styles came a new look, the 80’s had been a wash with sportswear and the casual look as well as make up and pirate outfits from the likes of Duran Duran & Adam and the Ants.
The fashion of the baggy house era was in fact ‘baggy’ in the sense that the clothing was loose fitting. No one wanting tight fitting clobber when they were pilled up to their eyeballs and dancing for hours on end to Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson & other Hacienda classics. The style took inspiration from rave, retro, hippie and football casual clothing all rolled into one ‘baggy’ look.
A local entrepreneur by the name of Shami Ahmed saw a gap in the market to what the acid house scene was dressing itself like. Loose fitting baggy jeans and t-shirts with quick fashion that went against the usual 2 seasons philosophy. Starting out as a market trader and then getting a store in the epicentre of the scene in Manchester the brand Joe Bloggs quickly became a household name and the brand to ‘have’ for all the acid revellers and ravers. During the Stone Roses Spike Island concert in 1990 the brand was said to have made a small fortune selling an estimated 30,000 merchandise T-shirts made from Joe Bloggs T-Shirts.
The name Joe Bloggs was synonymous with the scene and will always be remembered for that reason. Other notable Acid House brands such as NAFF NAFF made the whole scene kind of cringe worthy when it started fading out. Acid House wouldn’t last forever, the authorities cottoned on to it and ecstasy deaths were made huge stories by the tabloids and the scene kind of fizzled out.
Music started changing and went into the super clubs to the likes of Ministry of Sound and Gatecrasher. The fashion changed with it from the more the hippy look to smarter and more casual. Designer brands came back on the scene thanks to the Britpop era and the indie swagger of the Gallagher’s.
Joe Bloggs surely made a quick buck becoming a millionaire pretty much overnight making around £60 million from the brand. The brand soon lost its appeal and went down the unfortunate ladder of brands that aren’t cool any more and ended up in the kids section of Woolworths in the late 90’s. Says it all really!
I don’t think anyone in the know really wore the brand after about 93-94. The owner was a self made millionaire so what did he care. Apparently he lost all his earnings on day trading stocks and shares, something which can be very addictive and carries a lot of risk and high losses. Shami lost the majority of his money gambling whilst already in substantial debt and was declared bankrupt in 2009.
Kind of like the whole Romance of the Hacienda story isn’t! Except that Shami actually made money from the Rave scene.