When I was a teenager I was a mod.
Everyone thinks all ‘mods’ drove scooters and wore anoraks.
But actually that was West London, and came a bit later.
In East London, the whole point was to be different, and be first.
It was much more about creativity, and less about fighting.
The whole point was not to look like the mass of people.
Be different, and be first.
The sheep would all catch up later.
That was the rush.
Especially when those people started to take the mickey.
Because you knew that in about 6 months to a year, they’d be copying you anyway.
And they’d be wearing what they were laughing at now.
Isn’t that what creativity should be like?
Striving to be different, ahead of the game.
Not just striving to win an award for doing what conventional wisdom decrees we ought to be doing.
I prefer what Vinny Warren said.
Vinny is an Irishman working in New York.
He did the “Wassssssup” campaign for Budweiser, that caught on around the world.
He said that, if we were really doing our jobs, we should be AHEAD of the awards.
We should be doing work that they don’t even have awards for yet.
How great is that?
The most stylish mod I ever knew, was a guy called Bob Beer, from Mile End.
I once asked Bob what he thought real style was.
He said, “Anyone with a few bob can go down to Yves St. Laurent, pick out a suit, shirt, shoes, shades, and come out looking okay.
But REAL style is being able to walk into C&A and pick the one thing in the entire store worth having.”
True to his word, Bob used to buy his shoes from Annello & Davide in Covent Garden, but his white shirts from Marks & Spenser.
I think the really creative people in our business are like that.
Be different and be first.
Let all the sheep catch up later.