Vintage Style #13: Flagg Bros. Pimpwear

In the 70s, blacks in the larger cities and college campuses no longer had to fear expressing themselves.  For the first time, blacks were able to publicly proclaim their roots and dress as they wanted to dress, and if the honkies didn't like it, they could kiss their black ass.  Subsequently, afros got big, music got funky, and fashion got wild.

Blaxploitation certainly perpetuated stereotypes, but, perhaps more importantly, it employed a lot of black people, and it was a brilliant form of self-expression that was from the heart, with no significant contamination from those jive turkeys in the Hollywood establishment. It was gritty, but then life in the inner city was often gritty.  Believe it or not, almost every blaxploitation film ends with a very responsible and empowering message (i.e. the pimp leaves a life of crime in favor of the straight and narrow life).

The films also popularized the flamboyant fashions that were beginning to become popular in urban areas. The August 1972 issue of Ebony summed the trend up pretty well:

From the beginning to mid seventies, no brand embodied this philosophy as much as Flagg Brothers (Eleganza was pretty good too, I should add). I'm talkin' ermine collars, big ass heels and pearl handle canes.  So, enjoy a slideshow of 29 super fly Flagg Bros. advertisements from the 70s.... Your welcome.


  1. This is a truly great post. Fashion of this era is so, so ridiculous, as were a lot of the movies. That being said, I will love Pam Grier's movies til I die (except for White Mama, Black Mama).

    -Desiree, Pop-o-matic Deluxe!

    1. What's ridiculous is wearing your pants and showing their dirty ass underwears.

  2. Love it - I've seen some Eleganza ads but not the samples you scanned.

  3. This Jive Turkey post (I love that expression and haven't heard it in a long time) reminds me of a couple stories. If you will indulge me:

    We moved to Chicago in 1971. We were from Wichita. My mom was AMAZED at the way Blacks dressed in Chicago. Huge fur collars, long coats, etc. She went to school with a lot of blacks, but that was in the early 60s. Things had changed quite a bit.

    The other story is from when I was in the Army. I had a Black roommate named Gales. He said something about Shaft. I said that I'd heard of that movie but hadn't seen it. "What's it about?" I ask. His reply, "It's about a Black man that kills white men and f***s white women. Do you still want to see it?" Many years later when I did see it, I saw he was right.


  4. AnonymousJuly 08, 2010

    Now I know who Flagg Brothers are. I've heard Billy Joel's reference to them in the song "Keeping the Faith", but just figured it was some local shop. "Wore engineers boots, only Flagg Brothers had 'em with the Cuban heels". Thanks for another interesting post!

  5. I Am A Baby Boomer Rocker who Remembers the Fashion Victims of the 70s well.I was in the Army and remember going to clubs and being told I cant go inside wearing my jeans and a Leather Jacket.I was Too Cool For Their Disco selves.

    Their stupid Ass Dress Code was poyester Hell and Platform Shoes.I laughed and was Happy.I was there because we thought the girls were inside.Disco Still Sucks.

    The Old Bumper Sticker DISCO SUCKS is a classic.I Could not believe my Eyes when I had seen one on a Rather new Car.They also had a Vintage KSFO Bumber Sticker.No Doubt Hard Core Rockers.How did they get it off the Old car.They were Faded,Aged and COOL.

    I am amazed to see the Fashion Victims Still.The Gals who MUST Wear the Black Stilletos at all costs. Physical ear and Tear and Credit Card Costs.The Chiropractors and Orthapedic Surgeons are Getting Rich.

    Some Gals HAVE the Look and Some Gals need to Quit Spending Money.As The saying Goes You can Put Lipstick on A Pig and it is Still a Pig.

    You can Strap Expensive Stilettos on One Hoof at a Time.Need I Go On.

    Please All E Mails from Women That think I am a Sexist Pig will be Answered.Include a Picture.


    The Big Gals That Have the BIG BLACK STILETTO BOATS Strapped to their HOOFS are a Trip.

    I Like The Gals Who have Flat Shoes and a Chest that Isn't.
    Just a shallow DOG!!!

  6. Reminds me of a New Yorker cartoon from the '70s. A woman dressed in a completely incongruous ensemble (I guess that's a contradiction in itself) is saying to another guest at a party, "Don't you just love the new fashion? Everything goes with everything!"

  7. I just stumbled into this article and saw these ridiculous comments anyhow those styles back then had more class then anything around today a matter of fact there's only one style today wearing your pants underneath your ass and showing your dirty ass draws. U rest my case.