“I want to do the reggay with you” sang Toots and the Maytals in 1968, introducing reggae to a global audience. Since that time, reggae has become an influential and expansive musical category, often applied as a sweeping label for all Jamaican popular music—including dancehall and dub—amongst others. Beyond its myriad genre associations reggae has had a far-reaching influence, figuring in the origin of hip-hop and even the history of punk rock. Likewise, reggae has had widespread influence on clothing and style. Much more than dreadlocks, ganja leaves and the red, yellow and green knitted caps, reggae musicians have always drawn on, reinterpreted and (more importantly) influenced global clothing styles.

Few things distil this style more than the classic reggae film Rockers (1978). A fictional film shot in Kingston, Jamaica, the film features both acting performances and music by several eminent reggae musicians of the time including: Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, Big Youth, Gregory Isaacs, Dillinger and members of Burning Spear. With the film as a guide, we trace the style influence of reggae on designers like Supreme, Martine Rose, Wales Bonner and Levi’s, to name just a few.

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