In 1956, John Stephen took a lease on the newly available 5 Carnaby Street he was to remark later If I hadn't had a very understanding landlord, that would have been the end of me. But he led me around the corner to Carnaby Street, showed me a shop and suggested I got to work right away. Before long John Stephen had three shops on Carnaby Street and was starting to be a cult name. In the process, he revolutionised the design of men's shops and, much like Mary Quant at Bazaar, he established the prototypical boutique aesthetic that was to be copied by an entire generation of fashion retailers. Stephen's fame was assured when he attracted high-profile customers, the pop stars Billy Fury, Cliff Richard, Barry Gibb and Dusty Springfield's brother Tom, who searched the racks for gloves and hipsters and the latest colours in giraffe-necked tab-collar shirts. John Stephen set up in clothes at the right time in the right place, for a generation waiting for his liberally colourful designs.
Jeremy Reed is a prolific writer of poetry and prose. He has won the National Poetry Competition, the Eric Gregory Award and the Somerset Maugham Award. He is also the author of well-received biographies of Lou Reed, Marc Almond and Scott Walker.