February 27, 2017

Started way back in 1922, American cult brand Dickies creates the ultimate fit for purpose, authentic workwear. Manufactured for quality, toughness and timeless design, Dickies has transitioned into womenswear, offering up its classic cuts for the gals. From dungarees to pinafore dresses, workwear never looked so good. With ninety years of experience providing uniforms for the US military, Dickies has established itself as a brand synonymous with heritage and authenticity.

We took a sneak peak into the archives to see how the brand has evolved since inception. Marketing Manager at Dickies, Kevin Penney tells us how Dickies menswear has been adopted by the girls, how the brand has been championed by various subcultures and how being unwilling to follow the hype has allowed them to stay true to their values.

UO: Can you tell us a little about the heritage of Dickies and how the company has evolved over the years?

Dickies started out as a family workwear company back in 1922 which then provided uniforms for the US military during the war. In 1967 the iconic 874 was created and from then on Dickies has been adopted by many subcultures such as skate, hip hop, punk etc.

UO: What kind of customer does Dickies tend to attract and why do you think that is?

I think Dickies is a brand that is chosen by subcultures and almost anti-fashion because of its heritage, authenticity and excellent value.

UO: How would you describe the ethos of Dickies in three words?

Fit for Purpose.

UO: Dickies is originally been a menswear brand, how has that translated and evolved into womenswear?

I guess Dickies has always been a menswear brand, but we seem to have been adopted by the girls who have a strong independent style.

UO: When did that decision to expand into womenswear come into play and why?

I think the womenswear industry chose us! We found that more and more girls were wearing our classic styles and with Instagram bigger than ever, it was easy to see Dickies being interpreted by the female wearer.

UO: What does a typical day at Dickies look like?

No day is the same; it could be starting the week in Berlin with PR companies and customers, office days full of emails, or developing the direction for the next season’s range. It’s never dull.

UO: Dickies is renowned for its workwear cuts and shapes, but what else inspires the designs?

I think it’s our heritage, and our fit for purpose attitude. We never follow the hype and we always make sure we follow our workwear roots.

UO: What is the relationship between form and function when designing products?

Fit for purpose and following our Dickies heritage is key. Everyone at Dickies really cares about the product we design and put out there. Our product (especially our chinos) is predominately straight cut in that traditional workwear fashion and are typically hard wearing.

UO: Where is Dickies headed next, in 2017 and beyond?

We will always remain an excellent value workwear inspired brand, but evolving with our use of fabrics and colour palettes.