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Lady Jane (boutique)

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Lady Jane (boutique)

Lady Jane was the first women's fashion boutique on London's Carnaby Street. It was opened by Harry Fox and Henry Moss in May 1966 and was seen as a counterpart to John Stephen's Lord John chain.

Contents

Background

The shop was one of the new wave of fashionable boutiques that were revitalising Carnaby Street which before the early 1960s had been a down-at-heel area of mixed shops. Lady Jane was on the site of a former dairy. Designer Marion Foale described the general Carnaby area in 1962 as follows: "People lived there, there was a dairy, a tobacconist, a newsagent - there was this little courtyard and everything… a proper village, though very run down."

Publicity

The shop gained great publicity from the national press, and attracted the attention of crowds of potential customers by having models changing in the shop window for the first three days. Henry Moss was quoted as saying "Then I got arrested. I thought it was for indecency, although the girls were wearing underwear. I was tried at Gt. Marlborough Street Court and fined £2 for obstructing the highway". A visit by Jayne Mansfield garnered further publicity.

Lady Jane had a reputation for being a little shocking. When a see-through clothing craze started in London fashion in the late 1960s, the shop retained artist Audrey Watson to paint bras on its female customers. There were also plenty of male customers for the service.

One unusual line of goods was plaques bearing the coats of arms of extinct families. Harry Fox wrote to The Times in 1969 defending the sales, saying that they helped the British export drive as the purchasers were often based overseas, particularly in America.

Fox and Moss

Fox and Moss soon went their separate ways. Harry Fox expanded the idea with Lady Jane Again and Lady Jane's Birdcage, while Henry Moss started Sweet Fanny Adams, Pussy Galore and Sir Harry, a menswear shop.

Harry Fox was president of the Carnaby Street Trading Association and it was his idea to install Carnaby Street's first sign: "Carnaby Welcomes The World".

Homage

In 2013, the lead female character is called Lady Jane in the musical Carnaby Street by Carl Leighton-Pope, which opened at the Hackney Empire, London, and then toured nationally.

References

Lady Jane (boutique) Wikipedia


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