Skinheads, Mods, Rockers, Punks, Britpop boys, Rude Girls and Indie kids have all found their home in Margate, it’s a tribal place.
The originals tip the new ones about good tunes and help the young’uns smarten up. Each generation helps outthe next and pensioners are often as cool as teenagers.Seventy years of youth culture run through Margate like letters through rock.
At Rat Race, you’ll find people who always knew Margate was cool. They do not see the new breed as a subculture revival; they knew the styles had never gone away.
Laurence Clifton, owner of Rat Race, has been trading in Margate since 2008. His vision for a British heritage menswear store has been carved out of many years of sourcing the best brands these British subcultures had to offer.
“We’ve been the South-East England’s destination for customers looking for something more than a just clothes shop, Rat Race is where Margate’s young heart beats.
Initially starting off with one shop located on Margate’s High Street back in 2008, we have gone from strength to strength and went on to occupy three adjoining units along the High Street.
A fresh rebranding came with the birth of Rat Race in the Spring of 2014. We spent the next four years building our brand and ever-growing customer base".
Mods & Skins alike now travel to Margate not only for the rich subculture history that the town has to offer but to stop by at Rat Race to experience the best of the towns subculture heritage embedded in the style, music and most importantly; the people.
At Rat Race, they are firm believers that it’s the people and the community spirit that make the town what it is today. They are actively involved in supporting many aspects of Margate’s subculture community, getting involved in many local events and initiatives. They have forged strong bonds with their customers, creating a local community atmosphere that is welcoming to people from all walks of life.
“Customer service is a key aspect of Rat Race’s philosophy and we always go the extra mile to keep our customers happy and looking sharp throughout the year”.
“We keep an ear to the ground when it comes to new styles and classic pieces our that customers desire. This led us to engage with subculture brands to produce new styles.
Our creation of the classic tonic skirt and the redesigned and ever popular waffle knit cardigan can now be seen throughout the country and world alike with few people knowing their recent origins coming through Rat Race”.
We have built relationships with some of British subcultures finest including Neville Staple of The Specials, John Sims aka ‘Teflon’ (legendary original 2Tone designer), Dave Barker, Pete Doherty and DJ Eddie Piller amongst other celebrity customers.
At Rat Race, we indulge our passion for subculture music every day. With an assortment of regular in-store DJ’s and popular event nights in local Margate clubs, live in-store bands and acoustic sets, we strive to keep Margate’s beat in time.
With the growth of our online trade and requirements for additional space needed we decided in 2018 to uproot our High Street store and relocate 100 yards down the road to Margate’s main Parade. This allowed our online sales to grow and for Rat Race to be a true online destination.
Our new store saw further brand development, removing the fuss and keeping what’s important. Now sea facing, looking out onto Margate’s Harbour area you’ll often find a row of Lambrettas and Vespas neatly parked with their chrome catching the sun, while their riders are browsing the latest arrivals in-store.