As the '90s arrived the Casual style continued to evolve in the same way it had begun, seeking new ways to look smart and stay a step ahead. Borrowing ideas from the Italian Paninaro subculture, labels like Stone Island, Armani and CP Company became synonymous with a new generation of lads, who also paid tribute to Britain's tailoring heritage with the likes of Burberry, Aquascutum and Hackett gaining popularity.
The biggest change came within the game itself, however. Big businesses caught on to the loyalty of fans and saw potential in football as a money-making enterprise. First, the game had to be re-branded, and the idea of mobs of young lads from the rough parts of town didn't wash well with the new Middle Class money the clubs were trying to attract. As prices were hiked up and stadiums made more 'family friendly', the police cracked down. The firms still went about their business, but in smaller groups, away from the stadiums, and in the face of harsh judicial consequences.
The relationship between football and style continued to flourish however. The tracksuit tops and cords of the '80s had been replaced by technically engineered jackets and denim, but the lads took just as much care over their match day outfits as ever before.
Much discussion goes on as to what it really means to be a true 'Casual’, especially in this day and age, where a Football Banning Orders, CCTV and eye-wateringly long jail terms for minor offences have all but stubbed out the violent part of the Casual lifestyle. One aspect that refuses to die however is the style. Through the films like The Business and The Firm which saw a renewed interest in the clothing worldwide, to brands like Pretty Green and their Casual range, influenced by the Casual ethos throughout the ages, it’s clear that this particular bastion of British street style will strut into the future undeterred.
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