In this episode I’m going to be talking to Jeremy Reed who authored The King of Carnaby Street – The Life of John Stephen. This is the book that I’ve been ploughing through with relentless exuberant fury.
Now I should really set the table and mention that John Stephen was a designer and a true force of nature that pretty much enflamed Carnaby Street in the 60s with his audacious designs and unapologetic patterns and colours.
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Outside of Savile Row
So for people that are not indigenous to London, whilst you have the infamous Savile Row that the celluloid Bond supposedly had his suits made, you also had this uprise in Mod tailoring which was effectively piloted by a gentleman called John Stephen. He was one of the early pioneers of mod clothing and Carnaby Street and Kings Road were really a constellation of his shops.
Find out more about Jeremy Reed on his website here.
First hand stories
This book The King of Carnaby Street – The Life of John Stephen, is so well researched and we’ll get into it in the interview with Jeremy that John didn’t do many interviews, he shied away from the media and with John sadly not being around no more, the book owes a huge debt to the stories and memories recounted by Johns Life long partner Bill Franks.
Not only but also
Since the book was published Bill is also no longer around, so its very much a story thats cryopreserved, and I’ll admit I read it twice, start to finish and back again which is something I’ve never done before.
I pick up the phone to Matt Spaiser after this and shoot the breeze for ten minutes. My audio is a little choppy for some reason when I get on the blower to matt, but don’t worry he does most of the talking.
What else, David Zaritsky from The Bond Experience he’s putting on a zoom chat to end all zoom chats. Mark down the May 9th 6pm UK time.
The Jon Auty Experience
Give Jon Auty’s podcast a listen, I gave it a rubbish plug on the podcast but click on the image below and treat yourself.