Vintage obsessions: Sambo fashions

Sambo fashions- . Sambo fashions were well known for their lively printed summer dresses in the 50s. They were often seen as a poorer relation to Horrockses. I think my example shows this. Whist it IS a lovely piece in no way does it measure up to my Horrockses dresses!


Dollyrockers was one of the brands under the umbrella brand “Sambo”, designed by Samuel Sherman. Sherman also designed the labels concept, clothes and the label Samuel Sherman. The Dollyrockers brand was active from 1963 until the late 1970s. In the1960s it specialised in producing simple mini dresses whilst in the 1970s the brand was famous for their peasant style dresses. The Dollyrockers brand worked in conjunction with Dolcis shoes. They created joint marketing and publicity campaigns and also offered completely coordinated shoes and dresses. The range was well known in the period for their use of skilled cut and high quality fabrics, yet surprisingly reasonable prices.

Pattie Boyd, the “It” girl of the mid sixties ( and dating Beatle George Harrison) became the face of Dollyrockers campaigns. Even after Boyd stopped modelling Dollyrockers the brand was associated with her for a long time.

This is an example from the Dollyrockers line. Currently on display at Portsmouth city museum. Dating to around 1965.

5 thoughts on “Vintage obsessions: Sambo fashions

  1. Hi there! I know this is somewhat off-topic however I had to ask.

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  3. The Sambo Fashions factory was on the Old Kent Road, adjoining the Lord Wellington pub. It’s a couple of minutes walk from my own factory. Both are still there, next door the the drive-through Mc Donalds and the giant Asda. I just came across photos, including one from 1973 of the factory with “Sambo Fashions” sign.

    Let me know if you want me to send it to you.

  4. I designed for Sam Sherman’s Dollyrocker label after Jinty, his first designer left and he was wonderfully kind to me, sending me to Paris and St Tropez.When I foolishly left, to “find myself” on a disastrous hitch hiking jaunt through Italy and Greece, he said to “come and see your old Dad, when you decide you don’t like it”, and I did of course, and he welcomed me back to Hanover Square and gave me my old job back, only designing the new range, Concept

  5. Hi Diana! I am a postgraduate student at the London College of Fashion currently trying to find some information for a potential essay about a vintage dress with the label ‘Concept 2 by Samuel Sherman’. I would love to hear more about your experiences designing for the new range and what the fashion world was like at the time compared to our experiences with ever-faster fashions now!


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