A few weeks back, I received an invitation from Brooks Brothers and Garcon Jon to get involved with one of their new collaborative projects. The idea behind it, was to select a varied range of guys about London town who they felt embodied the brand and wanted to show how each person individually wore their chosen BB iconic piece. Out of the several categories (button down shirt, navy 3/2 roll jacket, rep ties etc.) I chose the ever classic navy blazer, which was an element of my wardrobe that I was lacking in. My love for Brooks started when I was about 16 – one of my first button down shirts was theirs, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to get involved with the team.
Here’s the interview I did with Garcon Jon, explaining my affection towards the brand, my style and general chat about clothing and scooters.
Scott Fraser Simpson, Vintage Collector
What’s your star sign? Scorpio or the year of the Snake.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
It changed so many times. From about 4 I wanted to be a horse rider, from 8 a primary school teacher, 13 a stunt man, 15 an Ad man and then by 17 years old I wanted to be a tailor. That’s currently where I’m at and it seems to be working with my own colletion. www.scottfrasercollection.com & www.styleandclassics.com)
Describe yourself in 5 words?
Determined, entrepreneurial, collector, meticulous, proactive.
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in Hong Kong until I was 13, then moved to Brighton (England) until I was 17 and now I’m living in South London.
How has living in different countries influenced you?
I think that living on two sides of the world has made me a bit more inquisitive about what else was out there – Growing up I was fascinated by Chinese and Japanese style and the fastidious detail that they put into everything they do. When I moved to England my world was opened up to British subcultures, the depth of history and culture that came out of these scenes has kept me busy and interested since.
Best place to live and why?
It may sound biased but it’s got to be London. The diversity and acceptance in regards to what you wear and do is just second to none I’d say. Music-wise you’ve got everything from be able to go to a Punk gig on the same night as funk club – it never stops amazing me and that’s why it keeps me here I guess. Saying that, New York has always got a little place in my heart and I’d be tempted to try it out, but I think I’d just miss all the British sensibilities that I get over here. Finally Berlin, I just got back after wanting to go for ages – I was blown away, the place was brilliant and really inspiring.
Where did your passion for vintage style begin?
It started about 10 years ago. When I was about 14 I started to get interested in the 1960s Modernist thing. Living in Brighton it was something that you really couldn’t not be influenced by. I went to a small shop called Ivy’s in the lanes which is still there, known to most as ‘the dead mans wardrobe’. It’s owned by a 70 year old guy who had mountains of coats, suits and bags. Here I scored, from memory, my first piece which was a Donkey jacket – a navy blue wool coat with tartan lining and leather patches on the shoulders and elbows, most commonly used by bin men in the 70s! Days later I’d returned to pick up some Macs, leather double breasted coats and shirts with elongated collars. I was hooked as all the items cost £5 each.
What’s your favourite classic film?
I’m not a film buff by any means, I’ve watched my share but I’d have to say it is Casablanca from 1942. There’s something about cream linen suits and hats that I just can’t get enough of, set in an era which I would arguably say was the glory days of menswear.
We both have a love of the Austin Healey – is that your ideal car? If you could own any what would it be?
I can’t only say that my love for old things came from within, my Dad is very similar to me in ways and he was the person that introduced me to the world of vintage cars. When I was growing up, he would take me to school in his 1961 Austin Healey or 1959 Mercedes 190SL. I think although the Healey is up there in my favourites I’d probably have to go with the 300 SL Mercedes, which is the gull-wing version of the 190.
Best place in London to get a vintage find?
It’s inevitable that vintage is getting harder and harder to find. I wouldn’t say that there are specific areas to visit but more specific shops. In east London you’ve got Hunky Dory, The Vintage Showroom and Levisons. West, you’ve got Black out II, Vintage Showroom and Reign. North, in Camden there’s The Vintage Collection, Dandy in Aspic. Haven’t been to Portabello market for a few years but there’s always something you can sniff out if you’ve got your eye in.
You’re wearing Brooks Brothers which is a classic American menswear brand, how do you think that fits into your life?
Brooks is a staple of my wardrobe and has been for some time, so the jacket sits perfectly with what I wear. Soft tailoring on the jacket, 3/2 button roll jacket and with a quality cut that’s timeless. For me BB is synonymous with the classic 40/50s Ivy league style and culture, which is something I’m really interested in.
Who are your style influencers?
I try not to hold to many people as influencers to be totally honest. I like to appreciate people for their flair and creativity but try not to emulate them – it’d be a pretty dull world if we all tried to look like everyone else.
What blogs or magazines are you currently reading?
I run my own blog Retrospective Modernism so I’m always scouting around other blogs, sites and magazines. Naturally I’ve got Jocks and Nerds, Free and Easy and Monocle on the coffee table. Online I’m currently checking Team S Equipe,
Rhythm Shaker, Selvedge Yard and Rivet Head.
What’s on your horizon?
For me, I’ve got several things going on all at one time. I like it that way as I seem to ride off the pressure of keeping myself busy. The plan is to work on my own collection more, creating new pieces and digging vintage clothes at every given moment.
Finally, leave us with some words of wisdom…
Fashion is momentary, style is timeless. Understand and respect what has come before and you will never look back with any regret.
For full interview head over to the Garcon Jon site.