For this month’s Antiques Clothes Show, Oi Polloi marketing mogul and Clark Kent look-alike Tom Scott explains why he’d rather not get rid of his Rather Not Say jacket.
My choice is the Rather Not Say windbreaker jacket that I’ve had since 2006. Long-time customers might remember when RNS graced the rails of Oi Polloi; it was also sold everywhere from Liberty’s to Union in New York. I got mine when I worked for the label’s parent shop Drooghi.
It’s all Jazzy and Nelly’s fault really. In a story not dissimilar to Oi Polloi’s own Steve and Nigel, Jazzy and Nelly were two mates who’d opened their own shop, Drooghi, when they couldn’t find anywhere local selling the stuff they liked. When I was a student in Cardiff, I’d go into Drooghi on a regular basis to pester them about upcoming trainer releases. Those conversations gradually moved onto other things, until one day the subject of their website came up. They were about to launch their site and needed someone to run it. With the immortal words, “You get the internet, don’t you Tom?” I found myself working in the crazy world of online retail.
I’ve owned a lot of jackets over the years; kept some, sold some and given the rest away. I can’t see myself ever getting rid of this one. If I really want to dig deep into the symbolism, I could say it represents lessons learned about the value of working with people you like and respect. Alternatively, I could just say it’s a good looking jacket that reminds me of fun times in the past.
Part of the reason that this jacket holds so many memories is because it became my default ‘going out’ jacket for a lot of the time I was living in Cardiff. It’s was light enough to keep on in a club (everyone knows you look cool wearing your jacket in a club), but could also be taken off without messing up your hair, which is rare for a popover jacket. It was also easy to stash behind the decks, and if I did lose it I wouldn’t have to go far to find a replacement. Saying that, this is the same one I always had, and apart from a small scuff from when I fell off a wall, it’s still in very good condition. This jacket’s seen a lot, good and bad, and it still makes me smile whenever I put it on.
Because everything’s a cycle, there’s talk of Rather Not Say making a reappearance this year, via a link-up with Casual Connoisseur. And a bit closer to home, post-Drooghi label Veras Shoes is going from strength to strength, with some Oi Polloi exclusives due in the store very soon.
Great days, can never go back.