Brighton has been a Mecca for mods since the early 60s, and for the last 18 years Adam and brother Jonathon LeRoy have been tailoring to button-down Brighton’s sharp-suited requirements at Jump The Gun on Gardner Street.
Why has mod style remained such an enduring part of British fashion?
We’re really just an early 60s gent’s outfitters with a mod angle to it. It’s about the fit, the cloth and the cut. If you’re the right shape for what we do it’s brilliant. You don’t have to be a mod to wear it well, it’s a suit, a regular outfit that’s cut differently. It’s just about dressing well, not necessarily being a mod. John Steed in the Avengers, Michael Caine in Alfie, they weren’t mods, it’s just a cool, well-fitted look.
So are they clothes for skinny guys predominantly?
A lot of people who do this kind of niche market won’t be as hardcore about it as we are. We won’t manufacture to fit everybody. You can either fit into it or not, we won’t make big baggy shirts so everyone can buy one. Ben Sherman for instance do a slim-fit range, but it’s nothing like ours. Our jackets go up to 48″ but the trouser cut is pretty slim. If you can’t get into them you can always buy shoes and a hat…
Do you get a lot of trade from outside Brighton?
People travel unbelievable distances, we’re really the only proper mod shop left. Merc in London is fine, we’ve known them for 20 years and we started out selling their stuff about 15 years ago – we were the only people they’d wholesale to in the UK. But we gave up because we wanted it all to fit how we wanted, with no logos on it. We’ve been approached by people like Lambretta saying, this is perfect for you, but we’re a mod shop, it’s not about a label.
You do stock some outside labels though?
We stock a limited range of Loake shoes, they’re a great shoemaker. Fred Perry – we do a very limited range of what they do. The shirts aren’t what you buy on the high street, it’s an M12, made in the UK, a very specific shirt. The fit and the quality are different. Fred Perry is a very traditional shirt, that’s why we stock it, but it has to be an M12. We could sell loads more of that they do, and Ben Sherman target t-shirts, but we’re just not interested.
You don’t have very mod hair?
I always got stick for having an Elvis sticker on my scooter! Mod’s about doing your own thing, sometimes people say you can’t mix this check with that check but i don’t really care. I sell reasonably serious mod gear but if you want to wait it with a pair of brothel creepers, do what you like…
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