With Rokit’s roots firmly planted in London subculture, it’s only natural that at Rokit Originals, we love to look to iconic vintage pieces for inspiration. It’s safe to say bleacher jeans are having a bit of a moment, bleach everything is having a moment for that matter, bleached tees, bleached jackets, bleached socks… and the fact is, while not totally environmentally innocent, a tub full of bleach can totally transform vintage garments, and give a playful new life to a piece otherwise destined for landfill.
We can trace Bleacher jeans back to the skinhead revival of the late 70s and early 80s. While the original skinheads of the 60s typically opted for a formal look – think crisp shirts with sta prest trousers and braces, its resurgence embraced the anarchic approach of 70s punk. Derek Ridgers captured the look on camera; bleached jeans paired with Dr Martens, polo shirts, buzzcuts (or feather cuts for the girls) and tattoos.
Throughout its history, the skinhead look was adopted by the gay community. This came with exaggerating the hyper-masculine style and often merging it with the leather daddy look – think leather biker jackets and accessories, heavy chain jewellery. In his book Gay Skins, Murray Healy states how “shiny DMs and tight Levis fed inevitably into fantasies and fetishes based around notions of ultra-masculinity.”
While never really dying out thanks to their subcultural significance, we have Gucci’s Alessandro Michele to thank for the bleach jeans foray into mainstream fashion. For the Gucci Cruise 2017 show held at Westminster Abbey. Michele gained inspiration from London subculture and luxury interpretations of their classic piece were put centre stage on guys and girls in a style mashup we’ve come to expect from Gucci, paired with granny knits, statement t-shirts and tube socks. In the past few years, we’ve continued to see the style blow up on the catwalks, with everyone from Aries to Off White to Marques Almeida having a go. Of course, we think the Rokit Originals versions are the best (not that we’re biased!)
Team RO handpick the vintage jeans with the most bleach potential; we are particularly fond of the way black denim comes out. Every pair is then tied by hand and bleached in small batches in our London studio. Then they are carefully untied, laundered, pressed, and voila!
Completing the whole process by hand gives us the most control over the finish. It also means each pair comes out totally different!
To check out our full range of bleacher goodies, click here!