Friday, February 7, marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival on U.S. soil for their first American tour and iconic appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. The band’s landing on American shores forever changed music consumption and fandom, inspiring adoration and a level of obsession that can only be adequately described as “Beatlemania.”
The Beatles, formed in Liverpool in 1960, are one of the few great popular musical acts that remain a household name, regardless of generation, and virtually no genre goes untouched by the group's influence. Writes fellow musician Elvis Costello in Rolling Stone:
"I was exactly the right age [9-years-old] to be hit by them full-on. My experience — seizing on every picture, saving money for singles and EPs, catching them on a local news show — was repeated over and over again around the world. It wasn't the first time anything like this had happened, but the Beatles achieved a level of fame and recognition known previously only to Charlie Chaplin, Brigitte Bardot and Elvis Presley, along with a little of the airless exclusivity of astronauts, former presidents and other heavyweight champions."
Along with giving (quite literally: Costello also writes, "I understood...one of the reasons why the Beatles had to stop performing. The songs weren't theirs anymore. They belonged to everybody.") the world classics like "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Yesterday," John, Paul, George and Ringo also became symbols of style. From the evolution of mop tops and suits to tunics and velvet jackets, the Fab Four inspired countless waves of copycat fashion.
Most memorable was the band’s period of skinny suits, ties and tight-fitting, ankle-length Cuban heeled boots known as Beatle boots. Lucchese Digital Marketing Director Shana Whitener revisits this era and makes her suggestions for which boots the Beatles would wear today, half a century later.
Whitener chooses Sumter for John, the more outwardly reserved but intellectually involved Beatle of the group, because of Sumter's understated ability to be worn in a variety of settings.
As the lovable, social, outgoing personality of the group, Paul receives Knox. Knox is one of Lucchese's most popular boots and can be worn as easily with a suit as with jeans.
George didn't need the attention of the fans; he's often depicted in the corner or off to the side, letting the others shine. For this, Whitener pairs with Collins, designed with for easygoing man who appreciates a touch of sophistication.
Oh, Ringo: The goofiest of the group, happy as a clam behind a drum kit. Whitener gives him Weston, the flashiest boot of the bunch featuring a mix of exotic leathers and Lucchese signature hardware.
All photos courtesy of thebeatles.com.