Any mod worth their mop top knows what a roundel is – the circular insignia often to be found on military aircraft was adopted by that movement many moons ago. But the roundel that people may be most familiar with is that of London Underground’s iconic branding.
Although the 150th anniversary of the Tube has been celebrated this year, the roundel did not come into use until the early 1900s, and its use is fiercely controlled by Transport for London. So a new clothing line called Roundel, and rife with motifs familiar to any Tube user – from typography to Misha Black’s “District” upholstery for seats on District Line trains, created in 1978 – definitely has the seal of approval.
At the heart of the collection, a collaboration with Slam Jam, which has been creating and distributing streetwear since 1989, is the motto “Thanks to the Underground, we are all Londoners now”, which has been taken as a symbol of the inclusive and democratic nature of the public transport system that many love to hate.
As well as T-shirts bearing slogans and logos, softly tailored pieces include a work suit, school blazer and a selection of work shirts modelled on the historic Underground uniform. Another updated classic is the MA-1- style bomber, which has been a symbol of youth style across the generations. Trainers come in the form of Nike Air Max, two styles of which have been created in a jacquard of woven polyester in Black’s “District” design.
Roundel by London Underground, Dover Street Market, 17-18 Dover Street, London W1, doverstreetmarket.com