A History of Racism in Fashion

The Lonsdale Youth

Year: 1998

Lonsdale, a British boxing equipment maker turned clothing brand, took an unfortunate L in the late '90s when clever young neo-Nazis in Europe realized that they could represent their lifestyle by wearing Lonsdale logo tees with a jacket, so that the letters NSDA were showing (an abbreviation for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, the German name for the Nazi party). The practice allowed neo-Nazis to skirt laws forbidding people from wearing clothing or jewelry that promoted Nazi views. The practice spread across Europe, and the name "Lonsdale Youth" became popularized as a moniker. The brand fought back with a variety of press and marketing initiatives promoting multiculturalism, but by then the practice had become too widespread.

Tags: fashion, racism
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