As Thames drop their SS16 lookbook and launch their online store, we chat to founder Blondey McCoy.
Between featuring in the new issue of Wonderland (you can read our chat here), skating for Palace and Adidas, and putting on exhibitions, self-described polymath Blondey McCoy also finds time, somehow, to run and design for his brand, Thames. The label has been around for a few years – he started making clothes at only 15 – but things are about to get a whole lot bigger for Thames with the launch of their online store coming soon and their inaugural “proper lookbook” dropping today.
If there was ever a collection to launch a store off, then SS16 Thames is surely it: Blondey serves up classic streetwear basics like hoodies and sweats enhanced with enigmatic graphics, subtly innovative denim jackets and jeans, and, of course, essential summer-chill staples like embroidered shorts and low-key t-shirts. What more could you want? We grabbed a minute with the skater-boy behind the brand to talk inspiration, soundtracks, and the future.
What’s your favourite piece from the collection and why?
The Kirsty MacColl embroidered white sweatshirt. She is the ultimate inspiration, although she never got the recognition, amongst other things, that she truly deserved. Everything about her resonates with the ethos of the brand, and I hope with our customer also.
Biggest influence for SS16?
Like always, London itself… and its forgotten or undercover heroes.
How would you describe this season in three words?
A good start.
What’s playing in the studio when you’re working?
Right now? Siouxsie Sioux.
The H.M.S London R.I.P T-shirt…talk to us about that? Do you think London’s going under?
It’s the only inanimate object referenced in the line. It was a navy ship in the mid 1600’s that got blown up and is now in the bottom of the river with 300 of it’s crew. I just hate the idea of something not being relevant unless it’s plain to see, or on the surface, so to speak. Sorry for that awful accidental pun.
Do you have a particular person/character in mind when you’re designing?
Myself! We make about fifty pieces of clothing a year so I don’t feel like I have any excuse to not want to wear any of it.
What happens when you run out of ideas: how do you re-inspire yourself?
I’m constantly reading 70’s Men Only mags for my artwork. They’re of the era when there was something for everyone, and it wasn’t crude by any means. Not like shit sports features but amazing Spike Milligan poems and when Ann Summers was an agony aunt. It’s all about the aesthetics and the nudes though, and would never have changed in that sense, unlike what Playboy’s just sunk to. They’re also celebratory of the area I live in, as am I of course…
Do you think of your pieces as skatewear or something outside of that part of your life?
I’m not particularly fond of that term because all the best ‘skatewear’ is either inspired by or actually is ‘normalwear’ or ‘sportswear’, so I don’t think it deserves a phrase. But assuming it now has one… no I don’t think of Thames as ‘skatewear’ and anyone that does is limiting it for themselves.
What’s next for Thames?
Hard work and prosperity, those two normally go hand in hand right?
The Thames online store goes live this Saturday at 00.01 GMT. www.thames-london.com