Members Only (fashion brand)

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Members Only
ParentMO 1975

Members Only is a brand of clothing that became popular in the 1980s with its line of jackets.[1] The brand was created in 1975[2] and introduced to American markets in 1980 by Europe Craft Imports.[1] Members Only racer jackets were distinguished by their narrow epaulettes and collar strap and their knitted trim; they were manufactured in a wide variety of colors. Their advertising tagline was "when you put it on, something happens".

In the 2010s, Members Only continued to launch seasonal collections carried at online retailers as well as brick and mortar stores such as Urban Outfitters.[3][4]

Member wearing a jacket.


The brand was licensed in 2016 by Sammy Catton, President of iApparel Brands, LLC. The brand is currently owned by Ron Malhotra. In recent years, Members Only has added many styles of jackets including a women's line, Footwear, Sportswear and Hosiery. In 2016 Members Only collaborated with Nickelodeon creating a lot of buzz and exposure in the Millennial demographic.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

Communication scholar Todd Kelshaw[5] has interpreted the brand's popularity surge as part of a broader American ideological shift in the early 1980s from participatory communities to materially-based communities represented in the purchase of consumer products. Members Only was known in the 1980s for their shift from celebrity endorsements as a form of advertisement, to public service announcements regarding issues like anti-drugs and pro-voting. Members of La Cosa Nostra were known for wearing this type of jacket in the 1980s and 1990s.[6]

The brand is often used as a source of comedy and an example of outdated fashion. In the film Shallow Hal, Mauricio (Jason Alexander) is insulted by Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow), who points out his Members Only jacket and says, "I guess you must be the last member."

Political journalist Matt Bai, in his book All The Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid, about former U.S. Senator Gary Hart's ill-fated 1988 presidential campaign, said that he had once referred to Hart as a dated figure from the 1980s, "the political version of a Members Only jacket."[7]

Sheryl Crow mentions the brand in her song "Members Only" from her 1998 album, The Globe Sessions.

On the tv series Will & Grace, Karen Walker's maid Rosario Salazar, frequently wore her Member's Only jacket over her uniform.

On an episode of "Beavis and Butthead" that includes a critique of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" video, Butthead asks, "which one's Ozzy?" Beavis promptly responds with, "that's him in the Members Only jacket."

In The TV show The Sopranos, the first episode of season 6 titled "Members Only" , Eugene Pontecorvo is wearing a jacket of the type. In the series finale, main character Tony Soprano is believed to have been shot by a man wearing a similar jacket.

In the movie Zoolander, Hansel says "Ten minutes. Old Members Only warehouse. You oughta remember that. You're a dinosaur. Let's go" after being challenged to a walk off by Derek.

In the Netflix series Night Stalker, serial killer Richard Ramirez is described by witnesses and survivors as wearing a black Members Only jacket.

In the TV show The Venture Bros, Hank Venture's band "Shallow Gravy" sings their only song, Jacket. Listed among the long lines of jackets is a Member's Only jacket.

In the TV show Friday Night Lights, Matt Saracen wears a Members Only Jacket on his first date with Julie Taylor.


  1. ^ a b Vargas, Daniel J (18 June 2004). "'80s jackets go from dud to stud in a snap". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  2. ^ Sheff, Harry (9 February 2012). "Members Only acquired by JR Apparel World". MRketplace. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Members Only Clothing Official Website". Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  4. ^ "Members Only Hooded Windbreaker Jacket - Urban Outfitters". Urban Outfitters. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  5. ^ Kelshaw, Todd (2015) "Wearing Members Only jackets: Baby boomers and the shift from sharing in to buying into community," in Baby Boomers and Popular Culture: An Inquiry into America's Most Powerful
  6. ^ Rossen, Jake. "How Members Only Dressed up the 80's". Mental Floss. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  7. ^ Shafer, Jack (2014-10-31). "Matt Bai's 'All the Truth Is Out,' About Gary Hart". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-09-21.

External links[edit]