Jackets in red, white and blue
Please tell us about your background and about your passion
for Mod fashion and music.
Mike: Unfortunately, I was too young to witness the early
Mod movement of the 1960's, but instead was influenced by
the revival movement of the late 1970's / 1980's. The
Jam and other bands such as The Chords, Purple Hearts and
Secret Affair produced the music for me and a new generation
of Mods. The Who and the film Quadrophenia also
influenced me a great deal along with obviously thousands of
others. Personally, I've always taken great care in my
appearance and like to stand out in a crowd. My
friends tend to take the Mickey a little bit by the amount
of money I spend on clothes, but I like to make a statement
with my clothing and I think that is part of what Mod is all
about. Thousands stick on a Fred Perry T-shirt and
dress in what I term 'Commercial Mod'. Don't get me
wrong, there's nothing wrong with that, but I think the true
essence of Mod is making the extra effort and looking smart.
I love Motown and jazz music, the sounds adopted by early
Mods. I also love listening to Northern Soul music.
I have a friend from London who dislikes Northern Soul and
becomes quite agitated when it's played at Mod events -
which is obviously all the time. He often remarks
"Bloody northerners have to get involved, what do they
know about Mod music? It was started down south
listening to early Motown." I have to chuckle, but I
understand where he's coming from.
Digger: And the background to It's A Mod Thing?
Mike: I've always been quite computer savvy and at the same
time, wanted to get involved in the Mod scene that I love so
much. I think its important to get involved in
something that you are passionate about and will ultimately
enjoy doing. I therefore built the website and it is a
continual work-in-progress. I have so many plans for
ways in which to develop the business further. At
present, the business focuses on the more commercial aspects
of Mod clothing i.e. Fishtail parkas, Harrington Jackets
etc. However, I intend to introduce what I term 'finer
less commercial Mod products' that stay true to the early
Mods of the 1960's.
Digger: What are your most popular lines?
Mike: Our authentic M51 and M65 Fishtail Parkas are selling
really well. There's been a resurgence in the last
couple of years and we're getting orders from customers all
around the world, even Australia, which made me wonder;
isn't it a bit hot there for a parka? The Scandinavian
countries have really picked up on the Mod scene and in particular
the Fishtail Parka. Our John Lennon shirts
are also proving very popular and are doing better than I
Why is Retro and Mod so enduring?
Mike: People love
nostalgia, things that remind them of the
past. Especially when happy memories are triggered.
You can never relive certain eras and I think that is part
of the attraction. The desire in some way to relive
the past. It is also true that they don't make things
like they used to. The quality seems to be missing
these days. Look at the clothing shipped in from Asia.
Mass-produced products using cheap materials.
Hopefully, we'll return to the days when the emphasis was on
quality. 1960's Britain and the Mod movement made the
world stand up and listen. Music and fashion were at
their peak and Britain led the way. I think that is
why Mod is so enduring. It is great to be British and
part of a movement that is still strongly adopted in
countries such as Germany, Italy and Japan.
Lennon-style military shirt
What is it that makes It's A Mod Thing special?
Mike: We give customers personal care that I don't
think you get from big business. We email customers
with frequent updates and communicate on a first name basis.
Establishing and maintaining a good relationship with our
customers is extremely important to us. As a great
deal of our products are vintage, we employ a professional
seamstress to ensure that customers get their product in the
best possible condition.
What gives you most pleasure about what you are doing?
Mike: Meeting and chatting with people who are interested in
the same things as me. Attending Mod events, Northern
Soul nights, and networking is a real pleasure. The
Mod scene is a really relaxed and cool scene to be part of.
People tend to not judge one another and just enjoy
themselves. Also, the fact that I work as my own boss
is the best decision I ever made.
What sort of feedback do you get from customers, where are
they coming from and how key is The Internet to your
Mike: Customer feedback is very important to the business.
We always request feedback from customers after dispatching
every order. It allows us to evaluate and if necessary
improve our processes. Fortunately, customer feedback
has been extremely positive and we have a file of
testimonials which I often display on the website.
Customers are often pleased to receive their vintage parka
or flight jacket in such a good condition. We also
insist on taking a customers measurements so that they
receive the correct size. Being solely an internet
based business it is obviously vital to our success.
The beauty of The Internet is that we are a worldwide based
business and have customers from all over. As
mentioned, the Scandinavian countries appear to have adopted
the Mod scene and are important customers to our business.
What plans have you for the future of It's A Mod Thing?
Mike: There are so many plans for development.........will
we get round to them? (chuckle). There are new products
we want to introduce and several things already to mind, for
ways in which to develop the website. Ultimately, the
key is to enjoy being part of a great scene and of course
attending Mod events which can be classed as part of work,
is the icing on the cake!
Jackets, Parkas and Fred Perry shoes
Clothing, Mod Shoes, Mod Parka, M65 Parka, M51 Parka, Mod
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No: 07976 186162