Superdry’s appeal lies in its vintage Americana aesthetics, enhanced with cool-looking – but nonsensical – Japanese fonts (but more on that later). The clothes are sporty enough to fall into the streetwear end of the fashion spectrum, yet they’re so well-designed that they’re loved by cool kids, It-girls, and of course, celebrities.
Miss Malini is wearing a Superdry dress; Farhan Akhtar is wearing the Superdry biker jacket; Shruti Haasan is wearing the Sophie jeans; Nikhil Chinapa is wearing the Rookie jacket.
So it’s no surprise that everyone from internet maven Miss Malini and music purveyor Nikhil Chinapa to Bollywood’s Farhan Akhtar, Shruti Hasan and Parineeti Chopra been spotted in Superdry’s jackets, jumpsuits and jeans.
Launched in the UK in the early Noughties, the brand opened its first store on the British high street in London’s Covent Garden in 2004. A year earlier, Julian Dunkerton, who already owned the Cult Clothing brand, which sold skater-inspired logo T-shirts and more to students in cities like Cheltenham, Birmingham, Oxford and Edinburgh, invited the former founder and designer of Bench – a brand he also stocked – to create collections for Superdry.
The result is a collection of what The Guardian describes as “downtime uniform of unisex basics but with design ticks,” including hoodies, jackets and logo shirts – the brand’s best sellers – as well as a whole range of clothes and accessories for men and women.
Superdry’s unique aesthetic has made the brand a firm favourite with the likes of Justin Bieber, Kristen Stewart and David Beckham, who helped catapult Superdry’s ‘Brad’ leather jacket to instant stardom (and its best-seller list), by simply being photographed in it everywhere.
A very recent (and rare, for the brand) collaboration with Luther’s Idris Elba has resulted in a much-loved luxe sportwear collection that is sadly not in available in India –yet.
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Superdry’s trademark is its Japanese lexicography. And it will surprise fans of the brand to know that it’s actually, well, gibberish.
The Japanese are known to place English text decoratively on products to increase their ‘fashionability’; there is a term for this too – Engrish. Borrowing from this phenomenon, Superdry uses Japanese words on many of its clothes and accessories. The Japanese characters that appear over the words Superdry, in the brand’s logo, simply and literally translate to “Extreme dry (Do it)”; the words in the brackets are a result of the translation software’s explanation of how and when the word is used, whether as an imperative (that is, to dry a shirt out) or as a noun (that is, super dryness).
In a 2011 interview on Japanese TV, Superdry confirmed that the brand deliberately used simple machine translations to generate the text it used on its clothes, and knows that, for the most part, it’s gibberish. But it works!
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Images courtesy: Superdry/@SuperdryIndia