An Oral History Of Cyberdog, Londons Trailblazing Technogoth Utopia

An Oral History Of Cyberdog, Londons Trailblazing Technogoth Utopia

It's 11am in Camden Town and the place is already packed. People in fedoras singing British pop songs decorate the cobblestone streets. Punks in Doc Martens and flawless mohawks line the lush greenery of Regent's Canal. Food vendors sold huge barrels of "Chinese-style" chicken, and the smell of oil and fried meat mingled with smoke wafted from the sides of the buses.

If you listen closely, you'll hear techno blaring in the distance. Head down the tunnel and past the vendor stalls and you'll soon come across a large brick building housing two giant metal robot figures with chrome armor and glowing eyes. From the outside it looks and sounds like a club. But this is not a club. It is the home of Cyberdog, a store and brand that has been around since the early 90s.

Over the years, Cyberdog, a retail chain specializing in rave clothing and edgy club gear with a gothic twist, has become a cultural institution. What was once a kiosk run by two dedicated explorers who loved to create wild, futuristic dance outfits is now a bustling tourist hub, as much a part of Camden as the legendary Amy Winehouse and bars like the Good Mixer. Since its inception, the business has gone through many eras, opening branches everywhere from Ibiza Town to Sharm El Sheikh and Brighton, many of which are now closed. But the Camden store, now located in the Stable Market, remains the heart of the brand, a reminder of what makes the area so unique and surprisingly attractive, even today as gentrification continues to press on.

These days, you probably associate Cyberdog with giant gothic buffalo shoes or "cyberbugs," neon hair extensions, and rubber tongue piercings. But the Gothic side appeared only later. The brand was originally born out of a love for rave and dance music. Designer and co-founder Terry Davey wanted to create clothes for people who sweat to loud techno and acid house. Since then, the brand has expanded into everything from streetwear (the recent collaboration with Kappa was particularly good), to kidswear, festival fashion and even fetish wear, with a basement dedicated to head to toe, sex toys and rubber .

In an age when Camden is full of posh shops and city chains, gastropubs and bank branches, Cyberdog often seems like the last vestige of 'old Camden'. It's a reminder of the area's weird and chaotic past, where alternative subcultures dominated and you could buy a pint of dirty beer at Elastica for £2.50. In some ways it's surprising that Cyberdog has lasted this long (it remains unique as all its clothing is designed and manufactured in the UK), but its survival is a testament to the brand's ability to evolve with the times. Thanks to Gen Z's love of all things 2000, the brand has also found a new, younger customer who wants to enjoy all things nostalgic with a futuristic twist.

To celebrate and remember a very different and enduring brand, we spoke to those who know it best. This is the story of Cyberdog.

Camden in the 90s, home of Cyberdog

To understand where Cyberdog comes from, one must first understand Camden in the mid-1990s, a time and place that will always be associated with the brand.

Emma Rice (Visual Merchandiser and Camden Retailer in the 1990s and 2000s) : "Camden was at its peak in the 1990s. It was hip, attractive and non-commercial, very different from today. It's very a diverse and eclectic mix of styles. There you'll see the punk that still exists in Camden today. There's also a great rockabilly and psychobilly scene. They all hung out around the Elephant's Head and drove Cadillacs. And then you want high fashion people. And certainly a lot of Gothic style..."

Terry Davey (Cyberdog co-founder and creative director): " It's always been a place where alternative people hang out." Very different from what it is now. That's why we chose Camden [as the location to open CyberDog]. This is Mecca. You feel it, whoever you are.

Lindsey Jones (Cyberdog's longest serving employee): “Camden is very demanding. Completely different than now. "There was real excitement in the air."

It's a reminder of the area's strange and chaotic past, where alternative subcultures dominated and you could have a dirty pint with someone from Elastica for £2.50.

Christopher Sims (fashion photographer, speaker and former Camden resident): Camden is a great community. Used goods have been sold since the early 1990s. Cyberdog was one of the first major modern fashion stores. Camden is very diverse. This is pure rock and roll from people who live and work in the area. And then you see this rave scene that's still going on. You'll also get a warm welcome in some of Camden's great buildings. Fashion is not corporate and Camden has a local identity. "It was a very eclectic mix of clothes."

The beginning of Cyberdog

Cyberdogs don't always look like a big club. This place used to be a small stall among other stalls selling antiques, old furniture and general items. But soon club and dance music lovers became obsessed.

Terry: “We started as a small kiosk in Camden in the early 1990s. We say we started in 1994, but that's only because we don't know the exact date... We used to queue at the stalls at dawn. Then we opened our first store in 1994.

“The whole rave scene was exploding, so we started dressing up for the stage and playing techno music in the stands (at first we were playing underground psychedelic trance from DJs like Mark Allen and Tsuyoshi [Suzuki]). " It is very important from the beginning: creating a club atmosphere. At first, people just asked, "What is this strange place?" But then a lot of people started coming. There is a gap in the market. I remember people seeing us dressed up at clubs like Wag, Heaven and Milk Bar and thinking it was cool.

“In 1994 we held a fair in Angel, Islington, and the place was completely packed. It just exploded from there. Then we realized that this is what people are looking for. We had a temporary business - a small piece of land [in Camden], and then they offered us this huge tunnel. We grew from there."

Christopher: “ Cyberdogs used to be young people...working class kids, students. It's behind the rave scene; Later versions of rev. We have to remember that fashion doesn't exist anymore because it's fueled by illegal drugs, but Cyberdog is a subculture [brand] that really has a sense of style. This is the idea of ​​the future."

Lindsay: “ I have worked at CyberDog for 27 years. I am 56 now and I started working in 1996. I said I was looking for a job and someone said, "Oh my God, Lindsay, you love clubs." "You should go work for Cyberdog." I interviewed in 1996, on the birthday of Terry and Spiros' first child. . I started that day. I love it. A few days later I became the store manager.

Spiros Vlahos (Cyberdog co-founder): “[Back then, Camden Market] was just a weekend event. Then we started opening on Fridays and Thursdays, etc. "The market owners are already saying 'thank you' because we did it for seven days."

tunnel age

Before the shops as we know them today, Cyberdog existed in a vast tunnel system called the now-inaccessible "Camden Catacombs" beneath Camden Market, which was originally built as a stable. Those who come say that it is like a real nightclub, with a DJ, a bar and dancers.

Lindsay: "I remember walking into their first [real] store - the Tunnels, which are literally long tunnels all made with UV lights - and they wanted the store to look like a club." When you enter, the music starts. , the lights come on and you feel the excitement. I think they hit the target. "If you just want to play... then you see a stunning dress."

Spiros: " We were there for at least 13 years." "It was a much bigger store than the one we have now."

Emma: " It was a dirty, dirty, dusty arch, all this UV light and the people on stage had obviously been outside last week." It's just a mental thing. It doesn't make any sense, but it's business. So the problem is that it's something tempting."

Spiros: “There's a bar there and people come on Sunday mornings, it's like an after party. Their feelings are very hidden.'

This dingy, dirty, dusty hideout is all UV and bleachers who have obviously been away from home for the past week.

Terry: "We didn't want to move, but the market was growing, so we had to." We were very disappointed at the time. We really managed to create this club store with different spaces that we dreamed of. "But they offered us another building with a basement, and we had no other choice, so we took it, and now you know that building is a store."

The evolution of the cyber dog

Since moving to its current store on Chalk Farm Road and expanding online, Cyberdog has grown and developed in many ways. Nowadays, you can buy everything from butt plugs to nipple clamps to karaoke machines.

Spiros: " We opened stores in Covent Garden, Manchester, Leeds and Brighton." We also have a store in Ibiza, but it is seasonal. We opened in Tokyo in 2001. There are several in various places.'

Terry: "This store is simply brilliant, and although we've tried to replicate it in small steps elsewhere, the results are never quite the same." It's more headache than it's worth. Who knows if we'll make it again.

Spiros: “Futuristic [basement sex toy department selling dildos, BDSM items and underwear] came in 2010. We had more space and we thought we could do more with him, more opportunities, more talent." "Now we are part of Cyberdog."

Terry: “Of course the band started out in the rave scene, but there have been different scenes over the years. I went to some of these fetish clubs and they were playing techno, so I started thinking about what I could do with them. They really embraced it. In Sex Shop [Cyberdog] you will find this genre. "We don't sell's just fun, edgy stuff with club scenes."

Nathaniel Bianco (Cyberdog dancer since 2010): "I'll never forget the first time I saw Cyberdog and his two big robots in front of a store." House music is playing so of course I had to check it out. The atmosphere was incredible, it was like entering a spaceship. Each employee has his own style.

“As a dancer, you put on a show for the people who come into the store. "Everything is improvised and freestyle, so it's natural to adjust to the music that's playing."

Meow Meow, aka Delilah Belle (22-year-old DJ and Cyberdog fan): " My first memory of Cyberdog is what my parents thought of me when I was a kid." "I'm always amazed by the staff in full cyber-goth garb: long hair, white contact lenses, six-inch platform boots."

Ava Akira (musician and young CyberDog customer): " I was introduced to CyberDog when I was a kid watching Mary Kate and Ashley movies." Where did they go in London? I thought, "I want to dress like that!" "It wasn't until I was a teenager that I realized it was part of the rave movement and that it had a terrible story behind it."

Text: ' অকাই At one point we were on the road a bit, and that's Gautier. English English: English स अथे नेज़. I think it's also for good design. Абна, тб тичу корб.'

Cyberdog's cultural

బ్ర్ట్టి స్రు హ్in English And 2K.

Lyrics_ _ ಅನ್ತಿಕ್ತಿಕ್ತಿಕ್ತಿಕ್ ಪ್ರ್ತಿಕ್ತಿಕ್ತ್ ಮಿಕ್ತಿಕ್ ಸ್ಯೆ ರ್ಡ್ ಸಾಯ್ಲು ಪ್ರಿಕಿ. " _ _

Lyrics _ English அத்திக்குத்து துக்குப்பியுக்கு. Now with fast fashion, [अपसंगस्क्रितिर] अग्य कुरोडगम करा करा ज़ीय. 20 days before the attack. Also, Cyberdog is very futuristic. young people _ '

young Now, in the past , the cyberdog represents the future

Daisy Davidson If you're English, English nt. The brand still has an impact [on fashion] – large lapel pants are a major thing, but the English bard is encroaching on it. '

Mr. relatively new. English as a function works. English रबणता हैंगी English देर अध्युद्वार.'

अभा: 'अमी मुने करी सिबेबरडग जत्दिन तिके खादी तददिन There was never anything new in the 1990s and 2000s. के ताई आ मी ब री ना it will never be out of fashion चली य अबे. '

"Fake off" - it always gets a good response from the club's strangers - that's why. My friends always want to borrow it and I think it's a वाल क्रीप repellent चुक् ज क रे.'

टरी: 'it's still an underground label, even though it's ब धहैखे। English English words थ यके। যাদা ই বির্রা, জায় কাক্ন ক্ন ক্র্যান প্র্যা প্র্ক অশি ক্র ক্র তিন অনান সানিগ্ক আম্গ্ন ক্র্রি. English I did English.'

Letters AB . Cyberdog মারিন নিয্র্য তের্দেস তান্তা তান. 56 hours before the end of the match English мание нин.'

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