(August 28, 1934 — February 1, 2004)


•Born on August 28, 1934, in Glasgow, Scotland

•The first individual to identify and sell to the young menswear mass market which emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

•British fashion icon of 1960’s “Swinging London.” Known for his flamboyant and colorful designs

•leader of the ’60s male “peacock revolution.”

•His successful chain of shops on Carnaby Street in London dubbed him as “The King of Carnaby,” and he soon expanded his franchise throughout London, as well as internationally

•In 1967,Stephen went on to design clothes for celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich.

  • He died on February 2004.


•In 1957, Stephen set up his first shop at №5 Carnaby Street.

• In the 1950s, Britain was facing a post-war graveness, which was reflected in men’s clothing.

•In an effort to stray away from the dull and dreary fashions of the time, Stephen sold vibrant flamboyant clothing in bright colors and floral patterns.

•As his imagination grew so did his designs- which included things like mini-kilts, flared velvet jackets and textured fabric, all created by hand in an office in the back of the store.

  • The hit store, known for its bright yellow exterior and blaring pop music, soon started a trend of lively boutiques filled with unique designs and young, attractive staff.


•As the new “King of Carnaby Street,” Stephen soon expanded his retail business, opening 15 stores internationally including in the United States and Rome.

•Soon it became acceptable for men to spend time and money on their appearance, and Carnaby Street became a hip area for young males.

•The era, in which men’s ostentatious styles became the forefront of fashion, soon became known as the “Peacock Revolution.”

•Even men’s hairstyles became expertly styled, and the preferred body type was long and lean.

•By the 1960s, Stephen’s clothes were being worn by musicians and icons at the forefront of “Swinging London,” such as the Rolling Stones and the Who.

•After taking his company public in 1972, Stephen sold it three years later to begin his brand “Franicsco-M,” selling fashions from Italy and France

•Retired in 2002 due to poor health.

  • He has been honored with several exhibitions, most notably a complete archive in the costume department at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.


John Stephen and Mary Quant, 1966

•John Stephen moved to London from Glasgow in 1952 at the age of 18, and worked as a waiter and also for London’s first young male boutique, Vince Man Shop in Newburgh Street, central London.

•In 1956 Stephen opened his own retail outlet in Beak Street but a fire at the premises forced a move in 1957 to 5 Carnaby Street

•He and Franks made their mark by painting the exterior canary yellow and blaring out pop music, while selling short-runs of such designs as jeans in various colours, simple unlined three button jackets, matelot shirts, Italian knits, etc.

• Stephen expanded his retail business — including outlets for female customers — with shops in other London locations, including Chelsea, opened a clothing manufacturer in Glasgow and operated franchises in the US and Russia.

•He opened the first boutique with women’s clothing on Carnaby Street called TreCamp.

•Stephen’s company was publicly floated in 1972 and closed in 1975, when the archive was donated to the Victoria & Albert Museum.

•In 2005, Westminster City Council unveiled a plaque at 1 Carnaby Street to commemorate Stephen’s importance to London and his influence over fashion.

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