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80s Popular Clothing Brands

by Mackenzie

Fashion during the 1980s was marked by the rise of neon colors, zippered and form-fitting clothing, and the popularization of animal prints.

The 1980s was a decade in which fashion trends were brought to life by prominent individuals who had a real influence on mainstream culture. These people were not only influential to their contemporaries but also major players on the fashion scene of decades later.

In this article we examine some important 1980s fashion brands that have gone down in history as the most prominent in their time.


Nike was founded by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman in January of 1964. The word “Nike” comes from the Greek goddess of victory, who led her tribe across the sea to a land where they would accept the fact that you can only win if you run.

In 1982, Nike introduced its first shoe to be sold at retail stores, the Nike Air Force 1. This model quickly became popular among athletes because it offered lightweight cushioning and a quick-drying upper while still maintaining an affordable price and sleek simplicity. It is often referred to as the “perfect white sneaker.” In 1987, Nike expanded its product line with the new model titled the Nike Air Max 1, which revolutionized sports apparel with its Air Max technology. Over time, many innovations were added, and Nike remains as one of the powerhouses in the sports apparel industry.


Guccio Gucci was born in Florence, Italy in 1881. He began his career as an apprentice at his father’s leather goods shop and went on to open a wholesale business that sold leather goods. By the 1980s, he had transformed the company into a worldwide fashion powerhouse under the direction of his son, Aldo Gucci. Nowadays, Gucci has around 500 stores worldwide.

Levi Strauss & Co.

In 1853, Levi Strauss opened a dry goods store in San Francisco after he immigrated from Bavaria. This store was the first of many businesses that would eventually lead to the growth of Levi’s jeans.

Between the 1950s and 1980s, Levi Strauss & Co. created a new line of jeans called 501s that were low priced and trendy with designs for women as well as men. The brand especially flourished during the blue jeans craze of the 1980s. Since then, this brand has been extremely successful among people of all ages and tastes.

Tommy Hilfiger

Thomas Jacob Hilfiger was born in New York on March 24, 1951. He began his career by co-founding the People’s Place chain of jeans and fashion stores in Upstate New York in the 1970s. Later, he started designing preppy clothing for his own eponymous menswear line.

He eventually created Tommy Hilfiger Co. in 1985, where he became renowned for his designs and attention to detail while delivering a peppy-like style.


Lacoste is a French sports apparel brand founded in 1948 by entrepreneur André Gillier and tennis player René Lacoste. The company originated clothing and accessories that were primarily intended to be worn by athletes, such as the iconic tennis shirt with the embroidered crocodile logo on the chest.

Throughout the 1980s and even past it, you will often see Lacoste apparel being sported by the general people as well as notable athletes, especially tennis players.

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