A History of Racism in Fashion

Boot Lace Color Codes

Year: 1973

Skinhead culture had relatively peaceful roots, until some groups of bareheaded youths, both black and white, started the practice known as "Paki bashing." Viciously attacking South Asian immigrants in the UK became an ugly fad in the late '60s that carried over into the early '70s, when many skinheads started to take an active interest in the rise of the National Front, a white nationalist group. To help identify which ones were National Front sympathizers, skins took to color-coding the laces on their boots. Codes varied from town to town, but generally, white laces on a black boot meant you were a white power skinhead—and red laces sometimes meant you had spilled blood for the white power movement.

Tags: fashion, racism
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