The Original British Skinhead Subculture in Photographic Portraits, 1970-1990 – Design You Trust

The Original British Skinhead Subculture in Photographic Portraits, 1970-1990

The skinhead subculture was born in England in the late 1960s as an offshoot of the mod culture. Skinheads were distinct from other British subcultures due to their uniform of boots, jeans, braces (suspenders), and the trademark shaved head.

h/t: rarehistoricalphotos, amazon Photo credit: Getty Images / PYMCA / Gamma-Keystone / Hulton Archives / Gavin Watson: Youth Club Archive


1970

Their style was an exaggerated version of the traditional unskilled laborer. One of the first scholars to research skinheads, sociologist Mike Brake, classified skinheads as a “traditional working-class delinquent subculture” and documented five traits that defined first-generation British skinheads: toughness and violence; football (soccer), ethnocentrism, Puritan work ethic; and a cynical worldview.


1970

According to author Nick Knight, skinheads first appeared as a distinct youth subculture in 1968. He states in his book Skinhead, “In establishing their own style, the younger brothers of mods adopted certain elements of mod style, combined them with items from traditional working clothes, borrowed some influences from the West Indian blacks and became skinheads.”


1971

Motivated by social alienation and working-class solidarity, skinheads were defined by their close-cropped or shaven heads (long hair was a liability in factory work and street fights) and working-class clothing such as Dr. Martens and steel toe work boots, braces, high rise jeans, and button-down collar shirts, usually slim fitting in check or plain.


1980

In England, there were two waves of the skinhead cult. From its inception, the skinhead subculture was largely based around music. The first group appeared in the late 1960s as an offshoot of the mod subculture and largely died out by 1972.


1980

The second wave arrived in the late 1970s and early 1980s. These skinheads differed from the first generation, in that they were not influenced as much by mod as they were by the growing punk and 2Tone Ska scenes in London. Punk lent itself to violence through its embrace of aggressive music and teenage angst. Skinheads reflected this new influence by combining the exaggerated imagery of the original skinhead style with punk.


1980


1980


1980


1981


1981


1983


1983


1983


1983


1985


1985


1980s


1980s


1980s


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Portrait of the photographer as a young skin. Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive


Gavin Watson / Youth Club Archive

If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Amazing Photos Of “Luxurious” Lada Stretched Limousines
Uranium Glass – Collectible Radioactive Glassware From a Bygone Era
Spectacular Winning Images from The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Contest 2020
Marvelous Beauty Portrait Photography By Eric Hückstädt
This Travel Account Will Make You Feel Like A Kid Again
Reconnect with Nature: Spectacular Winning Photos from The Rediscover Nature Photo Competition 2020
Photographer Took Pictures Of Women in 60 Countries To Change The Way We See Beauty
This Is What Different Foods Look Like When Separated Into Monochromatic themes
"The Forgotten Dream": Photo Manipulations That Show What If 1900s Immigrants Arrived In Present Day New York City
Photographer Sets Up A Garden In Living Room And Did Photoshoots To Document Her Cancer Journey
Beautiful Gingkgo Trees Attract Visitors
Laragh McCann for Elle France, April 2012
Photographer Wim Van Dan Heever's Images Capture Chases And Fights In The Animal Kingdom
Ethereal And Atmospheric Female Portraits By Alessio Albi
Australian Firefighters Pose For Their 2021 Charity Calendar To Treat Injured Wildlife From The Recent Fires
Christmas Balloon Parade in Panama City, Panama
This Couple Has The Most Unusual Horrifying Engagement Photoshoot Ever
Honest Portraits: Unvarnished Russia In Emotional Black & White Photographs By Oleg Videnin
Ballerina And Flowers A Photo Series About The Resemblance Of The Two Elegances
Low-Budget Glamour Shots That Are Just Too Terrible For Words
Snapshots of a Family Trip to Michigan’s Prehistoric Forest in 1979
Vibrant Vintage Photos of Mexico in 1968
Matt Lipps' Carefully Constructed Photographic Tableaus
Vintage American Teen Girls' Hairstyles – Female Students Of The High Schools In California From The Late 1960s To Early 1970s