i love tommy roberts – he’s a big booming personality + massive innovator – i first met him when i was in a shoot with him for the observer around 92 + since 2002, when he had his vintage furniture store on columbia road near my flat, i hung out with him a few times – he flogged me an acrylic desk – i tried to get a solid bronze hamburger sculpture for free in exchange for a bit of pr but he wasn’t having it – the store was called tom tom before it moved there + was  in covent garden – i remember him showing me a massive bubble top record player on a stand that had been made for harrods in the 70s; jimi hendrix bought his frilly shirts for his historic gigs at his first store kleptomania off carnaby street, then he opened mr freedom on the king’s road where he was the first person to sell slogan tees + the first to licence images from disney – his kensington store was the inspiration for biba + it was while helping his friends malcolm mclaren + vivienne westwood find rehearsal space for the sex pistols, he helped secure premises for his store at world’s end which later became the westwood store – he was one of the first to open a cool store in covent garden which in the 80s was the go-to destination for serious threads – it was called city lights studio + customers included jack nicholson, david bowie + roxy music; his new book MR FREEDOM – Tommy Roberts: British Design Hero by paul gorman comes out next month + i can’t wait to get a copy - the cover is telling – those winged boots designed by jim o’connor appear from time to time in serious vintage stores – elton john loved wearing them on stage + check out those bummer jeans by diana crawshaw that jane maudsley is wearing – the background shows the interior of his king’s road store designed by electric colour company – you can pre order a copy via paul gorman’s monster website


London-based publicist who runs fashion consultancy Mandi's Basement. Clients include: Barbie, Bistrotheque, LOVE Magazine, and M·A·C Cosmetics. She is widely recognised for promoting the creative hotbed of London's East End having guided the careers from graduate level, of many designers over the past 10 years. Mandi's Bas... View moreement is also the name of her blog for colette, which she started in 2009. She is a style blogger for The Sunday Times and a regular contributor to AnOther Loves. Photo: Alistair Allan