Subcultures have always had revivals throughout the years from the mod resurgence in the late seventies to the Skinheads of the eighties. Now it would seem the majority of subcultures are enjoying a boom from Skinheads and Mods to Casual, Northern Soul and Rockabilly but there is one thing that doesn’t change through the years and that is looking good.
The styles may get tweaked here and there to suit a certain era and give the scenes their own distinct look, but the look is what has to be right. There are a few great brands and shops around at the moment but we caught up with one of our favourites, Adaptor Clothing, to find out a bit more about them.
Here are the links to their Facebook page and their shop which we would highly recommend.
Who are Adaptor Clothing and what do you do?
Personally, we’re a group of people who are clothes obsessed, in particular retro, classic British youth culture fashions and the music and lifestyles that go with them; Professionally, we work day-in, day-out to source, offer and deliver the widest range of Mod, Skinhead, Rudeboy and Scooterist clothing. We’ve turned our hobby into our livelihood!
Where are you based?
We’ve been in our Hertford HQ for about 3 ½ years now, where we’ve turned all of the partitioned offices above our warehouse into our Showroom…which we are immensely proud of! From our humble base here in Hertford, we send orders all over the world.
How many people are part of Adaptor Clothing?
Believe it or not, we have just 4 people in our team! Kevin is our warehouse guy (and scene DJ)…he picks, packs and sends out all our parcels and manages the whole warehouse. Jacqui is in charge of customer service, so she’ll answer all our customer e-mails, taking care of exchanges and answering your queries. Paul is our sales and marketing man, so he maintains the website, designs all our marketing material and manages the showroom. Finally, Phil is the boss, he steers the ship…he’s worked in menswear since he was 14, so he’s the one with the vision, the contacts and the business knowhow to make what we do at Adaptor possible!
How did the company come about?
Adaptor is a classic case of a business that started in a spare bedroom. Back in 2000, Phil started selling sample products on eBay as a hobby, soon, his spare bedroom was filled to the brim with boxes of clothing, so he upgraded to the dining room, eventually having to rent a unit as his product range grew. The business has grown organically now for more than 10 years and we now offer well over 1000 products lines!
What brands do you work with and are there any other brands you hope to be working with in the future?
We have good relationships with and offer more than 40 brands in total, but we work very closely with brands Delicious Junction, Ben Sherman, Mikkel Rude, Warrior, Baracuta and Art Gallery. We have just, after 4 ½ years, finally secured an account with Fred Perry, which we are selling exclusively from our showroom. We hope to one day also stock Levi and we are confirmed as stockists of Paul Weller’s own new label ‘Real Starts Are Rare’ in the Autumn!
Will your own clothing range be expanding?
Definitely! We have just taken delivery of our own range of short sleeve check shirts and we are expecting delivery of our own, made in Italy, knit Turtle neck and Polo neck jumpers in a range of colours for the Autumn. We will continue to have our own suits made; we’re beginning to develop a good reputation for the quality and price of these, so they’ll definitely be more in the way of tonic and mohair suits coming your way! We’ll just keep adding products where we feel there is an opportunity or when we keep getting asked for particular styles, like our business, our own label range will grow organically.
Why did you decide to have your own range as well as others?
We’ve seen brands come and go and we’ve seen so many brands distance themselves from the Mod/Skinhead market. We know who our customers are, we know what’s right for them and what they are looking for; as various brands move away from their heritage, we’ve decided to develop our own products to fill the gaps that these brands have left. We have every intention of continuing to do this by producing authentically detailed shirts, suits, jackets, trousers, accessories, no gimmicks, no contemporary twists, just classically styled garments in the right sizes and fits…definitely watch this space!
What is your take on the modern subculture scenes?
Of course we always keep our ear to the ground with what’s happening in the world of music and youth culture, but we believe you should play to your strengths! We know our market and whilst we stock some cross-over products that maybe apply to punks, casuals or even the average bod on the street, we feel to owe it to our customers to stay true to their lifestyles. We are really focused on also attracting younger people to the Mod, Skinhead or Rudeboy scenes and making sure we are welcoming and encouraging of those wanting to get involved. These subcultures would die on their feet if not for new young recruits!
Can you give us 5 songs that you would recommend for our readers?
In case your readers weren’t aware…Adaptor Clothing has its own house band…the Adaptones! The band comprises of Paul (Organ), Kev (Bass), Geoff our lifestyle photographer (Drums) and Ewan, our young Saturday lad (Guitar). Check us out, playing at our Lazy Sunday event by clicking HERE. Our recommended songs are…
1. Jumpin’ Jack Flash – Wynder K. Frog (picked by Paul)
2. Black Panther – Sir Collins (picked by Ewan)
3. Better in Black – The Prisoners (picked by Kev)
4. Words Won’t Come – The Len Price 3 (picked by Phil)
5. Got to Get Your Own – Reuben Wilson (picket by Geoff)
Finally, is there anything else that you would like to add?
On the back of the success of our Lazy Sunday event, we’re hosting a night of Mod/Revival music at the Hertford Corn Exchange on the 5th July in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. Have the fantastic Len Price 3 supported by local cover band the Revivals, plus DJ’s Kev Lock and Soulful Sally. Tickets are just £10 and are available on our website. We’ll even have the live World Cup match of the evening being screened in the venue. It’s gonna be a cracking night!
For tickets to the event CLICK HERE