Members Only Jackets

While walking to work this morning, I was stunned to spot 3 people walking down the street wearing Members Only jackets. They were not bunched together, but individuals. This got me thinking about the classic line of jackets that had up until recently functioned mostly as a fashion punchline.

The Members Only brand of clothing really took off in the 1980s. But the line stretched all the way back to 1975. They were just another clothing line until Europe Craft Import pushed them hard into the US market in 1980. The rest is history.

Throughout the 80s you could not walk down a busy street without at least spotting one of their classic, Racer Jackets. Featuring straps aplenty and narrow epaulettes, the members only jacket grew to ubiquity and then like so many products was crushed under the weight of their own success.

Members Only in Goonies

Fashion is odd like that. You think that you are wearing something unique and fashionable, until you notice that everyone else is wearing the same thing. That is when the jokes start. It happened to Members Only Jackets and it happened to Crocs.

But now it seems Members Only Jackets have made a comeback. The ones appearing on the street are just the tip of the iceberg.

Members Only in Stranger Things

In 2016, the brand was licensed by iApparel Brands. Not only did they revive the classic Racer, that I spotted on the street this morning, they also added a women’s line and expanded into sportswear and footwear.

It appears their target audience is not the people who originally wore their jackets, but instead a younger crowd. People who were either too young or were not even born during the products heyday.

Personally, it made me very happy to spot the jackets. It takes me back to a different time. Plus the jackets are pretty interesting looking. So more power to them.

They say that fashion in cyclical, if so, I am going to pick up some Crocs and put them in storage. In 30 years when I pop them on and walk down the street, I am going to look stylish!

Enjoy this classic commercial for Members Only

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The Retroist

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!
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