Island Records celebrates 60 years and launches their first apparel collection06 June 2019 - Press release
In celebration of the 60th anniversary of Island Records, the legendary label have launched their first apparel collection exclusively via made-to-order apparel platform Everpress. The 12-piece drop shines a light on the global impact that’s come from one of Great Britain’s original and enduring music brands, re-working label iconography from Island’s vast archive.
Pieces include the classic Island Records palm tree logo, the label’s legendary ska subsidiary ‘Black Swan’ and the iconic Island ‘i’ logomark that appeared on releases between 1960 and 1980. The collection also features two hand crafted tie-dye designs made in collaboration with London’s Stain Shade.
For sixty years, Island Records has been at the forefront of all the musical moments that mattered. One of the world's great labels, it has become a byword for artistic integrity and innovation, staying true to its long-established independent ethos by signing mavericks and game-changers who have altered the course of music in Britain, Jamaica, America and beyond. And, while times have changed, the attitude, street-cool and striking visuals at the label's creative core have remained the same.
The history of Island began with a jazz album made in Jamaica. In 1959 – the same year as Berry Gordy was putting together his fledgling Tamla label in Detroit – a young, Jamaican-based Englishman, Chris Blackwell, released an album of jazz standards by blind Bermudan singer and pianist Lance Hayward called At The Half Moon Hotel, Montego Bay. Blackwell, 21, had started a record label, named Island after Alec Waugh's novel Island In The Sun, with a loan from his parents. He went on to release a string of records which tapped into Jamaica's vibrant music spirit, securing his first hit with Laurel Aitken's Boogie In My Bones, before relocating to London with his three business partners in 1962.
Blackwell distributed the records himself, driving up the newly-opened M1 motorway in his Mini Cooper.
Since then, Island has helped launch and nurture the careers of iconic artists from Bob Marley, Roxy Music, Grace Jones, U2, Amy Winehouse, Mumford and Sons, to Drake, Ariana Grande, Post Malone and Sigrid.