Green Plaque for iconic Carnaby Street shop Lord John

Date: 
Wed, 22/11/2017

Shaftsbury CEO Brian Bickle, Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council Robert Davis and Lauren Gold. 

An iconic Carnaby Street shop at the heart of the menswear revolution of the sixties has been honoured with a Green Plaque.

Lord John dressed everyone from The Rolling Stones to the Beatles and The Kinks.

Opened by brothers Warren, David and Harold Gold in 1964, it was at the epicentre of all things cool in London’s swinging sixties.

Warren Gold, who died in 2015, was a style icon and menswear entrepreneur. To mark his influence the Gold family, property owner Shaftesbury and Westminster City Council, unveiled a plaque in his honour at 43 Carnaby Street on Wednesday 22 November.

The Green Plaque was unveiled by Councillor Robert Davis MBE DL, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business, Culture and Heritage at Westminster City Council and Warren Gold’s daughter, Lauren.

Cllr Robert Davis said: “The Gold brothers played a massive part in creating the sartorial spirit of the sixties.

“The Lord John shop made Carnaby Street the outfitter of choice for the era, whether it was clothing the Rolling Stones or moulding the sharp look of bands like the Small Faces and the Kinks. The top acts of the day knew the Gold Brothers’ style was an essential part of their success.

“Lord John put music fashion on the map, and it is absolutely right that the store stays on the contemporary map of London with its own plaque.”

In 1967 Warren Gold commissioned decorators Binder, Edwards & Vaughan to paint the exterior of Lord John with a psychedelic mural.  It was a major PR stunt, bringing thousands of people to Carnaby Street.

The brothers started out working on market stalls in Petticoat Lane, east London, before opening their first shop on Carnaby Street. In their early years they specialised in the Mod look, with Italian cut men’s suits a speciality.

The manager of The Small Faces, Don Arden, paid the group a wage of £20 a week each, along with an account in some of the clothes shops on Carnaby Street which included Lord John.

The band would go into Lord John every day to buy replacement clothes, because overnight they would give away their shirts and trousers to fans. Gold said Mr Arden was not happy, because he was presenting him with a new bill every day.

Credit: Michael Clapton/REX/Shutterstock

 

Alison Kenney, Archivist at City of Westminster Archives Centre, said: “The swinging sixties - the age of Mods and Hippies, flower power, psychedelia, sexual freedom, political protest, blues-inspired rock music and, of course, Carnaby Street. 

“This colourful West End street was the epicentre of the sixties fashion scene, with iconic shops like Lord John, Lady Jane and John Stephen, at a time when the eyes of the world were on London to see the latest trends. 

“Half the population of Britain tuned in to the new pop programmes on TV to see what The Who, Rolling Stones and Small Faces were wearing. 

“For the first time in 150 years, men had the freedom to express themselves creatively in their colourful clothes and how they made the most of it.  And Mary Quant’s mini-skirt had revolutionised style for women too.”

Launched in 1991, Westminster City Council’s Green Plaque Scheme draws attention to particular buildings in the London Borough of Westminster associated with people of renown who have made lasting contributions to society. 

Carnaby Street 1973


Last updated: 13 December 2017
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