Fashion of a community of teenagers in Switzerland in the 50/60s

Enlarged belt buckles with illustrations referencing American icons like Marlon Brando, James Dean, Elvis Presley, embellished jeans, and motorcycle jackets are the items of the fashion code of the 'Swiss Rebel' documented in street- and studio-photographs by Karlheinz Weinberger in the late 1950s and early 60s.

The group of girls and boys used a signature gang style of homemade and re-worked clothing like jeans individualised with self written tags, which turn them into street art alike objects.

Karlheinz Weinberger worked by day in the warehouse department of the Siemens-Albis factory in Zurich; as photographer under the pseudonym 'Jim'. His career began with pictures for a gay underground club 'Der Kreis'. More information on The exhibition 'Intimate Stranger' at the Swiss Institute in New York runs until 26 March 2011.

Video: "It's a sort of hip-hop fashion before hip-hop," says Book Buyer Tosh Berman from Book Soup (book shop in Hollywood, specialised in art, film, photography, music...) in the 'Tosh Talks' series from 18 March 2011 about the 50s, early 1960ies fashion of young people in Switzerland which is presented in the book "Rebel Youth' by Swiss photographer Karlheinz Weinberger. Later in the video, he introduces to the 1000 Dollar book 'Karlheinz Weinberger photos 1954-1995'.

Source: Original article with video on


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