An artistic mix of street wear and tailored menswear accessorized with tribal details, or jeans, bomber jacket, polished wingtips and a porkpie hat. The look is familiar. We've seen them in ads and mainstream fashion magazines, but it was once a fresh new idea that started in the streets of 1980s London. A group of photographers, models and one stylist, Ray Petri, became known as the Buffalo collective. They called themselves "Buffalo" after the Jamaican term for rude boys and rebels and their look was a direct kick against glossy 80s designer fashion.
Ray Petri was the leader who styled the original photographs that became the legacy of the Buffalo collective. He styled models with bits and pieces of sportswear, thrift finds, cultural dress and occasional designer pieces in an androgynous mix of individual expression. Also unique to the group, they chose models of color. For 2015 it's nothing new, but at the time the chances of finding a model of color through an agency were slim to none so the group collaborated with people they met, including a young, unknown Naomi Campbell. Dr. Martens is paying tribute to Ray Petri's experimental spirit through their collaboration with two original Buffalo members for a photo shoot with the iconic shoes and boots this fall.
Through childhood and early adulthood Ray Petri lived in Scotland, Australia, India and Zimbabwe before settling in London in 1979 at the age of 21. He pulled inspiration from his travels and once in London he worked as a photographer's agent where he came in contact with several photographers who would become part of the Buffalo collective. The group formed as they shared creative ideas which led to the collaborations. Ray took the photos to fashion magazines The Face, i-D and Arena where their work gained exposure. Although it began solely with the purpose of self-expression, Buffalo street style quietly inspired a shift from feminine-focused 80s power dressing to individual expression in a new way.
Dr. Martens is known for its place in Britain's rebellious fashion heritage, from mods and punks to Buffalo boys and girls. Original Buffalo members Jamie Morgan (photographer) and the recently passed Barry Kamen (stylist) got together for this Dr. Martens Spirit of Buffalo video to shine the limelight on the men and women who inspired the shift in the tide of fashion. Ray Petri and the Buffalo collective's inventive spirit started a revolution that's kept fashion on its toes ever since, those toes fit really well in Dr. Martens.