Gabicci Vintage, 50th Anniversary Collection

Gabicci has been a staple of the casuals scene since their inception. Despite the Italian aesthetic, the label was infact born & bred here in the UK. In this blog we are going to have a brief run through the labels heritage & history before speaking to Simon Parr from Gabicci about the upcoming 50th Anniversary capsule from the British Heritage label.

Gabicci Limited was founded in 1973 by Jack Sofier & Alex Pyser with Jack having
just left a shirt manufacturer Rael Brook to begin his own venture. The name ‘Gabicci’ actually derives from the Italian seaside town of Gabicce Mare, a suggestion made by Jacks wife Maureen after visiting & the brand name was born.

Initially operating from offices and a basement warehouse out of Maddox Street, London W1, the first lot of merchandise on offer was Italian knitwear, acetate/polyester for the Spring season and wool with suede trim for Autumn. Fast forward to 1975, together with the traditional Gabicci customer, the brand fast became an underground style leader and embodied a look adopted by the growing ‘Northern Soul’ music scene.

Towards the end of the 70s Gabicci had also become the brand of choice for the ‘Rastsas’
and ‘Rude Boys’, later becoming a staple too for ‘Football Casuals’ before then introducing the iconic Plated Knit Jersey in 1981. In 1985 the brand had a successful public launch and over the next decade the group expands greatly, forming and acquiring other brands of the era such as Coconut Club and Leo Gemelli.

The 90s brought new ownership under Shami Ahmed, the renowned Hoe Bloggs entrepreneur & designs inspired by the late 70s. Aimed at the young fashion / club market, these designs utilised alcantara trimmed cotton tops, re-cut jersey polo shirts and of course the now iconic gold G.

Jump to 2008 & fashion’s continues to change with new demands, resulting in the ‘Gabicci Vintage’ collection being established. Still taking inspiration from the brands’ archives, but re-styled for a new slim & sharp seeking generation. The vintage designs reinforce the brand’s link with music and youth culture, becoming popular with musicians and sports stars at the forefront influencing these next generations.

Simon Parr, Gabicci Vintage

Simon Parr from Gabicci Vintage

Ahead of the labels 50th birthday the team here at Stuarts had a brief chat with Simon to get a take on how the brand has image & journey has evolved over the last decade. With Simon having worked for brands such as Baracuta previously, he has seen first hand how the fashion space can shift at a moments notice, and the importance of keeping timeless designs whilst still evolving & elevating a brand.

He explained how the vintage style of the Gabicci core polos & knits has enabled them to grow following the speedhump Covid has caused, stating ‘with lockdown the demand for smarter wear dropped off expectedly with people lounging in tracksuits, however we are now seeing a return on this with people now dressing up to go out again’. He also noted how as a whole, the UK generation are not ‘dressing as smart as they once were’ – meaning that Gabicci’s polos are now deemed more acceptable than ever for functions such as meetings, dinners & even weddings whilst still being appropriate for casual dress.

When asked about the impact of the terrace/casuals scene that has beloved Gabicci over the last decades, Simon explained how ‘the casuals scene has always been a huge part of our story, with the old boys rocking Gabicci alongside the likes of Pringle, Lyle & Scott & brands alike that were seen on the terraces’. A difference in Gabicci however is where it was first seen on the football fans back, stating ‘brands like Sergio Tacchini & Fila were picked up by our away fans travelling to Europe, whereas I’d say Gabicci was one of the few homegrown casuals brands not brought over from those European away days of the 80s’.

When we asked what we could expect of Gabicci over the following years, he confirmed that Gabicci will always honour the ‘polos & knits the brand are known for, whilst also expanding the brand further as we have into chinos, gloves, bags & accessories alike – we can’t stick solely to the vintage style’. But before all that we have the 50th Anniversary collection to look forward to…

Black & Camel Knitted Polo, Exclusive to Stuarts

Gabicci 50th Anniversary Collection

2023 marks the 50th birthday of the brand & in celebration brings ‘Limited Edition’
birthday pieces and a continuation of the Gregory Isaacs collaboration collection. Founded last year, the Gregory Isaacs collection features designs are created from archive imagery and family photos, based on garments worn and loved by Gregory during his life and career. The Black & Camel colourways will only be available here at Stuarts.

The four 50th anniversary Limited Edition styles are reworked from archived iconic knitwear designs produced in the mid-1970s. They are constructed from 12g Milano knit to replicate the
original garments and include the use of alcantara trims first used in the 90s, Simon also explained that this was chosen over suede as it tends to ‘wash better’. All with of course feature the iconic gold ‘G’ branding with selected products in the collection also coming with their own limited edition drawstring cotton bag – for the collectors amongst us.

For Spring there will also be two short sleeve polo collar tops, one half zip, one button through and two long sleeve, one zip through, one button through. All four will be available from March at Stuarts retailing at £115 – £120. There will also be a similar offering available for Autumn, with four new styles. These have again been taken straight from the Gabicci archives and are expected to arrive late Autumn. Keep an eye on our socials & new arrivals for the latest from Gabicci Vintage, with the 50th Anniversary Collection expected to arrived in March.

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