Dready, the iconic 90’s streetwear brand is back to re-inspire a generation, as well as recruiting new ambassadors along the way…
Dready was a cult character that appeared on t-shirts, hoodies and sweats worn as uniform for ravers, musos, cool kids and reggae fans back in the brand’s heyday. And just to prove you can’t keep a good thing down, Dready is BACK!
After undergoing a creative refresh, the brand owners along with Florence and The Machine’s Rob Ackroyd, (an original brand fan), have worked to rejuvenate the brand’s proposition and breathe life back into the drawings of Dready’s original artist, Robert Sidlauskas.
Whilst working with the brand Rob Ackroyd was keen to stick to Dready’s roots and authentic designs:
“One afternoon last year I came across an image I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years. It was a photo of a tattered bomber jacket with a stitched Dready crest on the back panel. I was instantly cast back to the first few years of secondary school, walking the halls and being pushed aside by a group of 5th formers all adorned with undercuts, Technics record bags, and Dready bombers. I guess these guys were the temporary zeitgeists; they smoked, they drove and they distributed their own d’n’b mix tapes. I was in awe. I tried to cobble together the outfit assuming the lifestyle would just follow, but the closest I got that year was a Herbie record bag from the market. To me Dready represents a time and a place in Britain where popular culture wasn’t so homogenised. It was the dawn of Britpop, Goldsmiths College was producing young trailblazing artistic minds and LTJ Bukem’s ‘Return to Atlantis’ was the big tune. I wanted to re inspire some of that spark into the Dready brand, retrace its roots and return it to those very sensibilities that impacted on me back in the day”.
This year, Dready hopes to take you on a journey with his never ending inspirations and thought provoking insights, starting with seven very unique designs available from March 2015. The limited edition t-shirts will showcase rare and previously unseen works of art by Robert Sidlauskas. Each T-shirt design, featuring Dready and his crew has been picked specifically because of its unique story and powerful message within the illustrations. Each design, made in the UK, will have a print run of 1000 and will come complete with a certificate of authenticity.
Moving forward, there will be new limited edition, surprise Dready design drops each season featuring further rare Sidlauskas artwork from the owners archive collection.
The T-shirts are available to purchase from the newly launched website. The website acts as a community platform for Dready fans and provides a portal to Robert Sidlauskas inspirations, as well as providing insight into the brand’s background, roots and culture.
2015 sees Dready reaching out to a new generation of brand fans with a love for art, music and politics as well as a passion and appreciation for Dready culture – a philosophy of peace, unity and love. Dready is a true brand of cultural heritage and for 2015 it is being stripped back to bare bones to celebrate the life and work of artist Robert Sidlauskas (1964- 2012), the creator of the much loved Dready character
Dready Brand History…
The Dready brand saw a steep incline in 1981, enjoying success at music festivals before launching the showcasing at their first trade shows both in London and Europe. Dready soon reached global heights in terms of distribution and fast became the urban ‘Mickey Mouse’ of the 90s
Dready was the creation of a young Birmingham-based Rastafarian named Robert Sidlauskas who in the late 70’s and early 80’s used the power of his pencil (and biro) to convey his beliefs and ideals. Robert went on to create original and unique illustrations in the thousands, including his ubiquitous Dready character as well as a previously unseen crew; Barley Corn, Guru and Natty Dread, and his love interest Jellybean.
Inspiration for the art came from varying sources including reggae, punk rock, the experience of unemployment, as well as his beliefs in humanity and in finding an escape in art from the street life of the time. Bob Marley was a huge influence for Dready’s young Rasta character, both in physicality and his desired influence on a ‘worldwide positive vibe’.
It was Robert’s old and dear friend, Christopher Carpenter who first saw the potential in his illustrations, citing him as the urban Mickey Mouse, and printing his creations onto clothes, creating the Dready clothing brand. Today, along with Robert’s family and Christopher’s daughter Victoria, the brand is being revived and the artist’s talent is once again being celebrated.
T-shirts retail at £34.99
Check out the competition to Win a Dready ‘REAGAN’ T-Shirt via #UVComps