Back In The Day

In 1983, Leo Stanley (the 'B' came later!) opened a small unit in Afflecks Palace, on ChurchIdentity shop front in 1988 Street, Manchester. The shop had a few different names before Leo settled on 'Identity' in 1986. The empire eventually expanded to take over half of the ground floor in Afflecks Palace, a shop in Afflecks Arcade on Oldham Street, another outlet on the 2nd floor of Afflecks Palace and a further 2 in the Royal Exchange. In its time 'Identity' went through quite a lot of fashion phases from Goth to Rockabilly and from Indie to Casual, but its claim to fame was the 'Acid House' period in 1988. Baggy dungarees, baggy jeans, baggy anything really and then finally flares. Whatever you have heard or read about who started the whole flares revival, let us tell you the truth.

Ian Brown and John Squire outside IdentityThe Scousers should really have the credit, but for us Mancs it was Phil Saxe, Happy Mondays, Cressa and Ian Brown. Phil Saxe was the first manager of Happy Mondays, and they all met through the stall he had in the Arndale market selling semi-flares. In 1988 Ian Brown came in the shop and asked if we could get any Wrangler flares as they were hard to get hold of. I thought “why don’t we produce our own range” so I got in touch with 2 local guys, Joe Moss and Phil Wildbore. As well as being the original manager of 'The Smiths' and still Johnny Marr’s manager today, Joe Moss had a clothes shop in Stockport and along with Phil they set up “Go Vicinity” clothing. From this came the very baggy jeans and finally the flares.

Alongside the flares came the t shirts. Some of you may have come to this Leo wearing the 6th Day shirt, back in the daywebsite specifically to find the now legendary 6th Day T Shirt. The fact that it has been around since 1988 (25 years!) and is now part of Manchester history might be completely new to you. Perhaps you have just seen the T Shirt recently and think it is a new thing.

For the full story of Identity and it's place in Manchester history please have a look at what we call our nostalgia site. Take time to have a look through the gallery and if you have any pictures from back then, please email them to us and we will add you to the site. We also love to hear your memories of Identity and Afflecks Palace back in the day and we post our favourites on there too.