Posts Tagged ‘Best Company’

Paninaro…oh…ay…oh

February 23, 2013

Regular readers of this blog will know I’ve a bit of a ‘thing’ for Italy and Italian culture. The Boot inspires me foodwise, clothingwise, and of course I love their football too. One of the most fascinating aspects, and certainly least documented in the UK, is Italian youth culture, and the most enigmatic period of all – the 1980s and the Paninari.

During the height of what we brits now call Thatcherism – young urban and suburban Italians were discovering Americana, hedonism and high fashion. Starting out in a burger joint in Milan early in the decade, the Paninaro phenomenon spread to the rest of Italy and beyond, and eventually found its looks replicated on the football terraces of Merrie Olde Englande in the late 1980s.

When I was in Genoa and Turin lately, I tried tracking down the eponymous Bible of the original Paninari, ‘Paninaro’. My pidgin Italian didn’t cut it at all the independent bookstores and stalls I sought out there. So, I had to turn to that love/hate internet phenomenon – good old eBay – to find some satisfaction.

For a few Euros I picked up some original and dog-eared copies of ‘Paninaro’, direct from sellers in Italy. Flicking through these is like looking at a postcard from youthful continental holidays in my schooldays. Tanned, young and happy people, dressed to the nines in Moncler, Timberland, Best Company, and Stone Island. The 1980s were the best ten years in the history of the world, and I miss them now, I really do. Enjoy these scanned pages, their like will not be seen again anytime soon. Ciao ragazzi.