Yaphet Kotto in live and let die mr big

Image sourced from Thunderballs.Org


Yaphet Kotto is one of the best dressed villains in the entire James Bond franchise. The suits were made by Roger Moore’s personal tailor Cyril Castle who made all the suits for Moore as Simon Templar in The Saint and for his first two Bond movies Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun.

This is not the first time the villain and Bond are wearing clothes by the same tailor. In On Her Majesties Secret Service Dimi Major did the clothes for Bond and Blofeld.

The films costume designer Julie Harris mentioned in an article in The Veteran kindly forwarded on to me by friend Josephine Botting Curator of Fiction at the BFI National Archive,

‘When the Villain Yaphet Kotto as Mr. Big – came over, he brought all his clothes from America. When he saw Roger’s, he realised his weren’t good enough, too flashy.’

The Standout Outs

Some of the standout suits were the cream double knit suit which he wears in the reveal scene. It’s a heavily textured material which lends a casual look. It’s an interesting cut and has a lot of pockets. Mr. Big contrasts this cream suit with a very 70’s red long point shirt.

Kananga also wears a tan suit and the purple suit in his home in his fictional island San Monique. Both suits are double breasted though the purple suit is more special. That looks like a villain suit and gives Kananga that comic book villain look.

Learn more about the style of James Bond in the book From Tailors With Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films, available on Amazon.

Listen to the podcast

You can listen to Matt Spaiser and I from Bond Suits talk about this subject more on the From Tailors With Love podcast (episode 16). Download the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify or listen in the player below.

Further reading