Oi Polloi

Steve and Nigel talk about the clothes they designed with Edwin

Published: Tue May 16 2017

We’ve made some clothes with Edwin. There’s coach jackets, chinos and baseball caps, all in flavours seemingly inspired by Italian ice cream vendors.

There’ll be more photos and stuff very soon, but until then, we hassled OP main-men Nigel and Steve for some chat about it all... 

Maybe a bit of a dull question, but how did the Edwin thing come about?

Steve: We were chewing the fat with them and we got to talking about the clothes we did them a few years back. Long story short, thought it was about time we did something again together...

What did you decide to make?

Steve: This time we thought it would be a nice idea to do something that wasn't denim. They had a coach jacket, so we thought we'd mix it up with some interesting colours. We liked that they were made from canvas twill. It’s really simple and meant we could do matching jackets and pants. It’s a bit of a mad casual suit — we've got hats too, so it's head to toe matching (if you can pull it off).

Nigel: They might be famous for their jeans, but Edwin do really good chinos, so it was a way of doing something with them that people might not expect.

What was the reason for the colours?

Steve: We were thinking about ice creams and pastel Italian flags. They’re nice colours, great for summer. In the mid-eighties pastel colours were massive. I remember brands like Lacoste, Marc O'Polo, Ralph Lauren, and then there was the whole Paninaro thing.

Nigel: We’ve always bought colour where we could buy it, whether it was an orange Fjall coat, a yellow 6876 jacket or a pink Lacoste polo, but now there’s pastels everywhere. It’s just a natural progression. 

Where does the fascination with colour come from?

Nigel: When everyone is walking around in black clothes, you want something different. One reason would be acid house, then there’s Perry boys, and then there’s the Lacoste polo thing… I’ve always just liked colours.

There's the red jacket worn by James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, the yellow yachting jacket, Steve Zissou in pale blue, purple Porsches… and the Paninari.

On the subject of the Paninari, how much of that came across to England? People talk about it now, but did people know about it back then over here?

Nigel: The closest connection was acid casual.

But were they influenced by what was going on it Italy at all, or was that just like when two animals happen to evolve the same way on opposite sides of the world?

Nigel: Yeah, nobody knew what Paninaro was. I went on holiday in Europe on an inter-rail thing, and I remember crossing the border over from France into Italy, and everyone had bright coloured Superga on with Lacoste polos and Levi’s jeans. When I first started selling Henri Lloyd in Affleck’s Palace back in 1989, a lot of stuff I was being shown was designed for the Paninaro. You could get the Round the World jacket in 100 colours. It was like a nylon jacket version of a Lacoste polo shirt.

Steve, you mentioned something to do with ice creams. Which ones do you rate?

The Feast is my favourite; I really like that weird fake chocolate stuff in the middle. Or if you're feeling brave, try eating a choc-ice on hot day... don't think you can get them anymore, maybe a bit too tricky?

What were the ice cream wars? I know you mentioned that once too.

Steve: The ice cream wars is bit nastier than it sounds. More to do with drugs in Glasgow. I don't think you go to a war about Strawberry Mivvis and Screwballs... or would you?

Did much of that sort of thing happen round Manchester too?

Steve: No wars, just ice cream vans coming around sending kids and old people crazy. It could have gone off big time if the van ever ran out of Mr Whippy.

Okay, going back to the clothes, are you pleased with how it turned out?

Nigel: It’s kind of like a uniform. I’m pretty chuffed with it.

Steve: Very pleased with the results. They're great. Can we say that about our own stuff? We just did.

The Oi Polloi Edwin stuff goes online at 10:00am on the 25th of May (the same day as our fifteenth birthday).