Individualism and self-expression was important for people during the 1970s, no matter how much or how little money a person made. The largest difference between the types of individualism and self-expression in this era was most likely due to both class and taste.
The year was 1976, and style was in full effect for the Black man, as it had been for quite some time. In California, Flagg Bros provided the footwear by which style was defined. There were others such as Jarman’s, Florsheim’s, and Hardys, but Flagg Bros was widely acknowledged amongst the local cool cats, pretty boys and wanna-be Players as thee spot for shoes. “Kicks,” as we called them in L.A., were a necessary statement to set off the look of new vines (stylish clothing) and old glad-rags.
Flagg Bros was located in Huntington Park, at the corner of Gage and Pacific Blvd. Flagg Bros was known for introducing the hippest styles, in the baddest colors at a price you could afford. The selection was second to none. They sold stylish contemporary leather shoes with standard heels, in Green, Tan, Orange, Burnt Orange, Rust Orange, Burgundy, Beige, White, Blue, Sky Blue, Red, Maroon, Brown, Yellow, even Pink, and of course, classic Black. Flagg Bros had it all.
A funky psychedelic rainbow of selective variety was always at your disposal. But the baddest, boldest, cold-blooded look of the day were platform shoes, made with and without “bubble toes,” offered in a variety of heel and sole styles, ranging from solid bases to laminated wood layers (and later synthetic neoprene), in a variety of solid colors, two tone and multi-hue blends, stitched patterns, with or without stipples, the choice was yours and nobody sold badder “stacks” than Flagg Bros. From tasteful yet sensible 3/4″ platforms to 3″ monster plats (aka Gorgons) as we called them, Flagg Bros supplied the funk. Slip-ons, lace-ups, zipper clad, ankle high oxfords to bubble-toe boots, Flagg Bros fulfilled your wishes.
Flagg Bros was the home of style, footwear and hosiery. A pair of Flagg Bros shoes allowed everyday cats to compete with, and possess the look of, a Ganza Boy. That was the name for the real Pimps, true Players and serious Hustlers who had the money to be suited and booted by Eleganza,” (Chicago, 60609), the undisputed mail-order King and Mack haberdashery Mecca.
By 1982, platform shoes were played out, and the look of Ray Parker Jr’s (“The Other Woman”) album cover cued a transition. The 6-6 Impala, funky Pimp styling of a 70s Player and my 8-track tape was old news. Now, it was all about being “fresh,” that smooth and suave laid back thing, with Jheri curls in a “Nouveau” style for that Belizean look, and music played on cassette in Dolby sound. Oh, one other thing… The drink of choice now was Cognac. — Remy, warmed politely, served in a snifter. So long Flagg Bros, Zodys and Ripple.
The Flagg Brothers Ads are part of The Museum Of UnCut Funk Collection.
Source: Rick James Roberts
The Museum of UnCut Funk wants to give a special shout to Hanako Iwahashi for sharing her photographs of classic Flagg Bros signage live from Bergenfield, New Jersey. Hanako it’s because of fans like you that we do what we do. Thank you!