'Up To Date With Giorgio' & Billy Bentley
We sat down with Billy Bentley, owner & curator of @youcantfindeverything to discuss his appreciation of the somewhat elusive brand 'Giorgio'.
Questions asked by Felix Dean, No Licence Shop
Where were you brought up, and how does your upbringing influence your appreciation for Giorgio?
Growing up in Aldershot, a somewhat deprived working-class town the fashion direction was very sportswear orientated. Most people shopped in JJB Sports and All Sports (RIP); these days it’s Sports Direct and JD sports; pretty much the only shops left in the town!
Giorgio was sold in Madhouse, the one branded clothing shop in the town centre, which stocked a wider variety of clothing than the previously mentioned spots. Back then the shop was a bit of a laughing stock, despite it actually selling interesting brands I didn't pay Giorgio much mind.
Madhouse had a never ending closing down sale. YSL that would sell straight away on Depop now, like the big logo polos would sit on shelves there for years. It eventually closed its doors when the company went under, around 2009 if I recall correctly.
The thing that struck me with Giorgio 'Local Boyz' was its constant ability to bootleg other brands logos and somehow get away with it. Almost all Giorgio jumpers are a rip off of a well known company and some lesser known, there was always a chance someone would mistake it for Giorgio Armani!
My mum had a Giorgio 'Beverly Hills' towel when I was a kid, and probably still does. This was actually related to the perfume and nothing to do with Giorgio Local Boyz clothing venture. As a kid I didn't realise the difference but since understanding there are so many different lines under the wider title, 'Giorgio' began to grow on me,
What aesthetically draws you to the brand ‘Giorgio’ & why do you feel it’s important to archive?
My upbringing in Aldershot plus love & appreciation of the 80s/90s rave scene is what educates my archive. My mum and dad were ravers; I came along and my dad kept dancing for a few years after. I didn't actually know this until my mum told me recently. With my archive, the focus is to recapture some of them raving memories through the clothing worn. Throughout this era, many brands came and went in a relatively short space of time. Giorgio being one of them.
Since moving to South East London 3 years ago and digging for vintage clothing religiously every week, I have come to notice how popular the brand was here. The Millwall FC 99/01 football shirt is a key example of this, featuring a big Giorgio logo across the chest. This shirt was seen in the 2001 film release of 'Goodbye Charlie Bright' featuring Danny Dyer, depicting life growing up in S.E. London. The brand slipped away within the early 2000's and is now a distant memory.
I feel it is important to archive brands such as Giorgio, otherwise the history of these brands will be forgotten forever. If I was born any later than I was, it would have been likely that my parents were not ravers and my fashion taste would be completely different. I understand why kids these days like streetwear. They have nothing else to be inspired by.
Do you think the brand will make a resurgence in the fashion world, or has it’s time been & gone?
The history behind Giorgio/Local Boyz is limited so I highly doubt we’ll ever see the brand resurface. I have seen a rise in popularity with Giorgio on online marketplaces in recent times but I feel this is more in relation to the patterns and designs which the brand produced; as opposed to it's cultural relevance. It helps that Giorgio Local Boyz is listed as a brand on Depop as this makes it more accessible for a younger consumer.
With vintage clothing at it's current peak it might only take one influencer wearing a Giorgio spellout for everyone to suddenly start giving a shit about the brand. However, given the current climate I don't think it is enough for the brand to resurface. I think we'll see a lot less new clothing be produced for years to come.
You've mentioned your archive throughout, how did that come about?
My archive was set up with a genuine passion for collecting rare & niche clothing from the 90s and early 2000s, heavily influenced by all areas of music with the intention to educate through clothing & the memories attached.
As the years go on, these pieces become harder and harder to source and that's how they become forgotten. I feel it is important to educate others on these pieces
Thank you Billy for spreading the word on Giorgio!
Check out his Depop and Instagram at @youcantfindeverything