My name is Ben & I am Vivienne’s son by her first marriage to my father Derek.
I have just recently taken on this job to write the World’s End shop blog & I thought that I should take this opportunity to introduce myself.
I have actually worked for my mother before, for about 6months in 1983 just after the Buffalo Girls collection during the Punkature & Witches period, then after the split up with Malcolm I worked in the period 1986-1990 when she first developed herself as an independent designer.
During this time I multi-tasked quite a bit as at the beginning of this period there were only myself, my brother Joe & my mother’s mother Dora working for the company. I could drive so I got the driving & clothes production job, Joe (pretty sharp with money as you may know) dealt with finances & worked in the shop, & my grandmother worked in the shop too.
In 1987 I went to the USA for a couple of months & on my return I worked in the shop myself, then when the Davies St shop opened I was it’s first manager. In 1989 I was back doing production during the Civilizade & Voyage to Cythera period. I finally finished in March 1990.
In the intervening 23 years until now I developed my own project as a fetish photographer. After an adolescence surrounded by punk girls in stockings, suspenders & thigh high boots, Jordan working in SEX in her rubber underwear, Malcolm’s big collection of fetish & pin-up magazines that he & my mum used for their t-shirts, lying around at home; & then during the `Pagan Years` 86-90, Sara & all those supermodels wearing corsets, stockings & suspenders again,……& all those high heel shoes & boots….I knew what I wanted to do….so I did it.
I didn’t have the most lucrative career, I suppose my photos were too specific a subject to have a regular job as a photographer. However I did have 3 books of my work published (the last one called `F**k Fashion`), did several exhibitions, worked for a variety of magazines from the art/fashion side like `Tank` to lads & porn mags like `Loaded` & `Leg Sex`. I also did the photos for a Lastminute.com advertising campaign & for a month or so I saw massive billboards of my work all around London.
Apart from that, I’ve been involved with some political stunts to do with opposition to obscenity laws. At the beginning of 2009 I marched around Parliament Square with a group of bondage models in opposition to Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, which banned “extreme pornography” & then at the end of the same year I sang (terribly) carols outside the home of the Labour Equalities Minister Harriet Harman with a group of latex clad Xmas girls against the sexual encounter licence being proposed for clubs.
At the end of 2011 I was involved with the Occupy demonstration at St Paul’s & did an interview in the Evening Standard about it.
Last year & at the last minute I was asked by my mum to join her, my brother Joe & my father in law Andreas (he’s younger than me) in her stunt at the Paralympics, so I put on my woad war paint ( I chose my design from a film with Robert Redford called Jeremiah Johnson. One of the Crow Indians in it had it), my Guantanamo overalls and the climate revolution t-shirt I was to reveal & joined the procession on a bright green frog car. A strange experience being in front of so many people. I saw myself in the summing up edit at the end of the show at home on TV but there was a head in front of the t-shirt & when it moved they cut to something else. I was going to keep the t-shirt but I had to give it back so that Lady Gaga could have it. I hadn’t washed it.
Anyway, over the last 3-5 years or so I’ve been at a changing point in my life/career. I haven’t taken any pictures of fetish girls but I have taken some photos for the earlier World’s End blog, new items posts (i.e. the Lion bag & Propaganda boot posts). Also I have done some design work myself & have produced a small range, including 2 coats, a jacket, a shirt & a pair of trousers. The coats & jackets have been available in my brother Joe’s shop `Child of the Jago` for some time now but just recently my mother gave me the ok to put them in World’s End shop, which is quite an honor, really. They are there now…
So back to the present day & my new job here. My take on it is that I am a journalist with a magazine to run, so that as well as posts to do with any new items for sale in the shop I will be drawing on my own experience & archive to write something about the history of the shop. Including interviews, profiles & news of Vivienne’s political work I hope to make this an interesting site to visit regularly.