'We were both freelancing and we were so broke as invoices always take months to get paid. Like we couldn't even afford to go out for coffee. It sounds ridiculous but it was true.' Jess Morris is telling me about how her and husband's fashion brand Rockins came about.
'All our friends were rich and successful so when Christmas time came about we decided to make them their presents as we couldn't afford to buy them anything. One year we did a Monopoly board, then an album cover but it was when we gave everyone a vintage silk scarf that the idea clicked.'
With friends including Kate Moss and Jade Jagger, it didn't take long for them to be papped wearing the scarves and demand from those wanting to emulate their rock 'n' roll style to start pouring in. Fast forward three years, and Rockins is stocked in over 250 stores worldwide and has now evolved to included a denim line, ready-to-wear and homeware. Here Jess talks scarves, styling and 70s glam...
'When designing I always have someone in mind. My favourite style icon is Jimmy Paige. I love 70s musicians and the way they dress. It’s always men. Never women. If you take his outfits on a girl it's the best. Those silk shirts and flares!'
'I'm an 80s kid but the 70s is my thing. That's the era that are the memories of my parents. My mum died when I was 38 and she will remain forever young in my head. She had a vintage stall and we would come up to London from Southsea to buy things for it. She was a bit of a hippy but it was in the height of the punk era so we'd go to Camden and buy those rubber spiky cushions. She was the one who pointed out Vivienne Westwood to me, where I later ended up working. I definitely got my eye for fashion from her. So the 70s for me is all about personal nostalgia.'
'I worked as fashion PR for Vivienne Westwood and then Agent Provocateur while my husband Tim was working with Gorillaz. The first Christmas present we made was a monopoly board. For four months we painstakingly made this board and even gave everyone their own street name. Then the following year we did an album cover. We bought 40 copies of The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls vinyl cover and inserted pictures of all our friends. The third year I remember being in Liberty and seeing all these scarves and thinking why is every single one a square. That's when we decided to make all our friends vintage scarves. They went out to the same 40 people who included Kate Moss, Sadie Frost, Jade Jagger and Keith Richards and lots of stylists. It just snowballed from there.'
'My own style is 70s with a little bit glam. The key for me when designing is the shapes. If it’s not flattering then it’s not for me. Everything has to be very wearable.'
'Tim designs all the graphics, prints and packaging. Every scarf comes in its own album cover, or CD box or cassette tape box. He's so clever and really does work non-stop. I'll take the prints he's created and work a couple into the mainline to keep the whole brand cohesive.'
'I still love to see our scarves hanging off jeans. In winter I like to wear one tied in a bow around a shirt. It's good to mix up prints too. They're such an easy way to change up your look. I'll hang them off my bag and in summer I love to wear them as a bandana. Or I'll just tie them around my wrist. They're multi-purpose which is what I love about them.'
Now check out Jess's fave picks from Pre Fall 2017...
'I love this emerald velvet suit. I have always collected and enjoyed wearing seventies blazers in all kinds of colours with jeans but I'd often alter the shape a bit before wear. Our green blazer is perfect, three covered buttons, patch pockets and a double back vent. It's great with the corresponding high rise flares and the Skully of the Valley silk shirt - (so called as the flower motif is actually beautiful tiny little skulls) or to dress down, just worn with one of our vintage feel graphic tees, a skinny scarf and jeans.'
'I'm crazy about wearing silk pyjamas as outerwear, especially in the summer. You can wear them with a heel and throw on a velvet blazer and look perfect for any occasion or wear with a flat shoe and a big tote bag if you're out and about on a sunny afternoon. All of our prints are great but I'm currently loving the flowers and flames and the leopard and teeth prints - with skinny scarves of course.'
'The deep plunging neckline on our v-neck ruffle shirt is mega if you are fairly flat chested or brave and more ample chested. I particularly love the black chiffon, it also works over a vest with the cuffs hanging open with a waistcoat on top for a more romantic look.'