get an exclusive look at the first thames x fred perry collab
Blondey McCoy discusses his first Thames collaboration with the iconic Fred Perry.
When he's not skating or painting or tinkling the ivories or fronting Palace or roaming the streets of London with a missing tooth and tailored strides, Blondey McCoy manages to find time as Creative Director for Thames, Palace's sibling brand.
MTV provided a gateway to skateboarding for Blondey, who devoured skate videos on YouTube before discovering London's offerings aged 12. For the rest of his school days he could often be found from 8am skating Southbank in his school uniform, without a care in the world. His conversation speaks beyond his years, his curiosity and thirst for knowledge realised not through school but via the teachings in the concrete brutalist bowl of the Southbank and the recommendations found wheeling around inside it.
He made his first collage, and produced it as an all over print shirt aged 14 before gaining sponsorship by the ever-growing Palace, being knighted by their founding fathers Lev Tanju and Gareth Skewis soon after. With Lev Tanju rightfully sat on the throne as King of UK skateboarding, the brilliant businessmen recognised the undeniable potential in Thames as a kindred brand and suggested Blondey take the role of Creative Director with Palace as backers. Blondey remembers, "If you are telling me I can do this as a job, then tell me where to sign up!"
The first Thames line with Palace came in 2015. Where does he continue to draw his inspiration? "I'm influenced by 80s pop culture. I don't think there's a better archetypal look than big earrings, massive barnets and boxy suits," he states with a Thames earring dangling from his left lobe. "I wake up and fall asleep listening to The Smiths every day. I love the Pet Shop Boys and Abba. Oh and I think George Michael was one of the best dressed men of all time. I know certain internet people have their own bizarrely off the mark idea of what I'm like… all I want to do is potter about town listening to bands people are afraid to admit they love."
Blondey wears Vivienne Westwood, Burberry and Prada alongside Thames, Adidas and Palace, and has just embarked on his first clothing collaboration with Fred Perry. He explains how the collaboration naturally evolved. "I was bored of skating in T-shirts, so I started wearing Fred Perry polo shirts and I guess they noticed. I love the silhouette. I've always liked what they do and how their clothes have been re-interpreted by so many different cultures and I always thought 'I would love to see my logo on that'." From skinheads to mods to ska to new beat, Fred Perry has always had a finger on counterculture cool.
The capsule collection consists of an amalgamation of styles between brands, taking a classic from Fred Perry, a staple from Thames, whizzing them together in a NutriBullet and voila -- the results are what you see before you, modelled by Blondey and artist Hetty Douglas.
The Thames/Fred Perry Autumn 18 Capsule Collection will be available from the 24 August, 2017
Text Ben Reardon
Photography Michael James Fox
Stylist Max Clark
Art Director Lotty Sanna
Models Blondey and Hetty Douglas wear all clothes Thames x Fred Perry