British Boutique labels of the 1960s and 1970s: Dollyrockers by Sambo

Jungle print Dollyrockers dressNouveau flowers Dollyrockers dressOne of our favourite labels of the sixties and seventies British Boutique Movement era is Dollyrockers by Sambo. Being big fans of floral and psychedelic prints, we can never resist a frock bearing this label, so have compiled a little history on Dollyrockers including images of some of our past and present stock from this collectable boutique fashion label.

 

 

Dollyrockers label

 

Dollyrockers originated in 1963, and their in-house designer was Samuel Sherman (known as 'Sambo', as you will see on the Dollyrockers label here, taken from the jungle print shift dress above!). Samuel Sherman had been designing under the Sambo moniker since the late 1940s, and became recognised for his 1950s frocks made in Marchington cottons.

 

Pattie Boyd in Dollyrockers

 

 

The lovely Pattie Boyd modelled the Dollyrockers range in early publicity campaigns, with co-ordinated footwear by Dolcis Shoes. The 1964 picture to the right shows Pattie in a sleeveless gingham checked Dollyrockers frock with lace collar and bib detail, priced at u00a314 4s. Gorgeous!

At the time, Pattie had just started to date Beatle George Harrison, so this must have been quite a coup for the label, gaining valuable increased attention for their campaign via their lucky cover girl's love life!

 

 

Liberty fabric Dollyrockers mini dress

Liberty fabric Dollyrockers label

Dollyrockers also collaborated with Liberty of London for some of their designs, and above you can see a stunning example of a Dollyrockers long sleeved turquoise mini dress from our archive, made in original Liberty printed fabric. Next to it is a close-up of the label and more detail from the beautiful and classic Liberty floral print.

 

Peasant dress by DollyrockersInto the 1970s, the label became best known for their peasant style frocks like the one to the right here, and for their floaty floral maxi dresses.

The label ceased in 1975, but has become a covetable name for those interested in the Youthquake fashions of the sixties. Their garments are a colourful memento of Swinging London in its c20th fashion heyday.

Samuel Sherman went on to produce clothing under his label 'Clothes by Samuel Sherman'.

You can view our current collection of Dollyrockers dresses here.


15 comments

  • I was a buyers for house of Fraser at that time and remember the Sherman’s with enormous fondness. My late husband John Chubb looked after Sam’s cars and simons Royale formula 3 and we all became very close friends.

    Sally Bayes
  • My grandmother Kitty Barham was a seamtress at the Old Kent Road Factory, she always spoke of fun times working there.

    Elaine Collins
  • A friend has passed on a beautiful, 50 year old, Dollyrockers Indian-style light summer coat, laced at the front which flares open below the waist. The ivory-on-black linen paisley fabric is lovely. The whole garment is unusual and not remotely old fashioned.

    Felicie Oakes
  • I was a teenager in Jersey in the 1960’s. Clothes for teenagers were hard to come by. A little shop in Snowhill in the centre of St Helier used to have a rail of Dolly Rocker dresses. They were like an oasis in the desert. I had three, all treasured. One was dark green and had pink and red tiny flowers all over. My mother said it was MUCH too short. I wish I still had it, not that I could wear it! Levi jeans (buttons not zips) were in an old fashioned mens drapers in a back street. A disapproving old lady in faded overalls would bring out a pair at a time for us to try on. If you could get a pair that fit she wrapped it in brown paper and string and sent us packing with a very sniffy look.

    Pen Godber
  • My mum, Rosemarie Killick, was a pattern cutter at Sambo during the 1960’s ( before I was born ) and remembered lots of the flowery materials being brought in for the new designs, She also remembered Mr Sherman arriving to work with a new Alivs car which when asked she replied she was keen on.

    Andrew Robertson

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