Rocking read – the Johnsons story

Back in my dim and distant schooldays, we used to hang out every day a fair bit at Kensington Market at the tail end of Kensington High Street. This legendary place had everything a neurotic fashion outsider could want – record shops, army surplus, James Dean postcards (my teen obsession), punk T-shirts and Johnsons. I didn’t hang out at Johnsons but I used to have the odd snoop. Johnsons was the first port of call for visiting pop stars (proper pop stars wot we had in them days) staying at the Royal Garden Hotel across the road and was wall-to-wall leather jackets, Americana and biker boots. God it was cool (and expensive).

The Look has alerted me to a brilliant new book that has been published about Johnson’s and its label La Rocka! I’m especially loving the pages of airbrushed leather biker jackets making me think, hmmm, surely ripe for revival, no? The book also contains pictures of Robot shoes, another long-lost eighties London landmark and the go-to shop for a natty new pair of brothel creepers. Aside from anything else, it’s great to know there are people who have documented and archived all this amazingly important fashion ephemera and information. The book isn’t available in this country but if you’re based in Japan, you can buy it here.