Hypercolor Tee Shirts - Metamorphic Color System by Generra
Man. Sometimes I hate walking down memory lane. It reminds me of things I loved; or thougcht were cool; once owned; that no longer exist. One such thing was my rememberance of the Hypercolor t-shirts. They changed color with heat - I had one that was green and would turn yellow, and another which was purple and would turn pink. They were the "must own" shirts in the late 80's/early 90's. You saw them everywhere
and for awhile, you'd even see (pretty pointless) Hypercolor socks. (Saw a pair at a dollar store a few years after the shirts vanished off the shelves.) Short sleeve tees were the most popular, but they also had long-sleeved shirts and sweatshirts in the standard rotation. Thinking about it reminded me that I believe I got rid of my Hypercolor shirts [finally] a few years back when I'm pretty sure so many years in the Florida heat made them stop changing colors. Now I'm all sentimental and I want one again. *chuckles* A quick search on ebay
show six currently up for grabs and another 16 which have recently closed. Most of them appear to have stood up to the test of time and will still amaze you with the really coolness of clothes which changed color. Sure there were problems with this concept (armpits generate a lot of heat and everyone always felt the need to touch - or worse yet blow - on your shirt, but still, as far as inovation goes, it's still great.) But it seems they also go for a heck of a lot more then the walk down memory lane is worth to me. (Not to mention, I really don't need an XL shirt and most seem to be of that size. Did large[r] men just not wear theirs and hense, that's what's left of the stock?) So, I really had to know more about this whole concept - looking back at something which is no more - and I did some net searching.
I started with the information in an article
and some random people's comments on them in blogs and message board archives. From what I gather, they were made by a company named Generra. (A domain name
exists for them, having been registered in 1995 but showing only the words "Site Under Construction") The company originally started as an importer of men's fashion but soon moved into being their own branded label for sportwear. They came out with the wildly popular - though one-hit-wonder fated - Hypercolor shirts (a patented, secret proceedure from what I gather) but still went bankrupt somewhere in the 1992 area.
In the domain registry, the owner of the site is another company called Public Clothing Company (or PCC)
. So, I hit this as my next stop on the hunt for more information of this ill-fated, yet well remembered company. PCC seems to have bought the rights to Generra in 2002. Says their website
As one of the great start-up fashion success stories of the 1980s, Generra imbedded itself into the American consciousness. A casual and complete lifestyle concept, the label has graced nearly every category at retail including men's, women's, kids, accessories, and footwear. Capturing its market with a style that ranged from basics to innovative fashion the brand also extended its reach by strong support from national consumer and trade advertising on a variety of media.
In 2002 PCC acquired all rights to Generra and is now gearing up for a major relaunch in spring 2004.
Hrm... "gearing up for a major relaunch" makes me wonder. From what I've read on the above-mentioned blogs and message boards, some people seem to feel that the Hypercolor product line will be coming back - new items, not just the worn/used clothing you can buy from garage sales and thrift stores. And while they don't make any specific mention of Hypercolor, the words, "innovative fashion" scream "something really otherwise unheard of like color-changing clothing."
Well, to me anyway. So...does that mean they might be making a re-appearance? Might I overcome the sense of longing I feel for having ridden my already overflowing dresser of my old shirts? Could it be that one day - maybe even some day soon
? - I could walk around with a handprint on my back just once more? *smiles* It'd be nice to have one again, even if it was just for the memory of how much I used to like it.