|Key people||Daniel Raufast, Founder; Jacques Chevallereau, Designer.|
On the French scene in 1970, Daniel Raufast came across a poster advertising the musical Hair. Interested by all the barefooted youngsters wearing jeans, he developed a new shoe concept which he believed to be more compatible with the blue-jean generation. The designer Jacques Chevallereau then created the first 'jean boot'. This new shoe was very different: the use of nubuck; shapes that looked more like short boots than regular shoes; tough crepe soles made with natural rubber, eyelets, contrast stitching, panels and appliqués all obviously referencing denim. The success was such that, within one season, Kickers production capacity grew from 300 to 12,000 pairs per month. Immediately successful in France, then Germany, by 1974, Kickers were selling in over 70 countries.
During the 1980s Kickers shoes become very successful in Britain. So much so in some case, kids were queuing up until 10 o'clock at night waiting upon deliveries, and when the delivery did arrive the stock would be gone in a flash. Many kids also collected the flower shape tag and did not believe the shoes were real Kickers unless this tag was included.
The Kick Hi boot was released in 1975.
Music industry popularity
It was in the late 1980s and early 1990s that Kickers really gained popularity when Kick His were heralded by icons on the Manchester music scene. The Kick Hi then became popular in the rave scene, first with acid house and then later with trance music. Many fans of the shoe came from diverse and contemporary musical backgrounds including UK garage, RnB, pop and hip hop.
Ian Brown famously kicked off the trend by wearing a pair of Kick His to The Haçienda as a cheeky retort to the strict 'no trainer policy'. The Stone Roses wore them in their video for 'Fools Gold'. A sheep sported a pair of Kick His on the cover of the 'Stepping Stone' 12-inch single by The Farm.
- BBC: I love 1980 TV programmes