ARTBOOK LOGO

ARTBOOK BLOG

RECENT POSTS

DATE 8/10/2018

'The Swimming Pool in Photography' featured in the 'Wall Street Journal'

DATE 8/9/2018

'Frank Kunert: Lifestyle' reviewed in WIRED

DATE 8/7/2018

Jim Marshall on Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison

DATE 8/7/2018

Johnny Cash at Folsom and San Quentin, empowered as if by divine authority

DATE 8/6/2018

Happy Birthday Andy Warhol, born August 6, 1928

DATE 8/5/2018

An epic movie-novel: Andy Warhol's The Chelsea Girls

DATE 8/4/2018

Karine Laval's 'Poolscapes' is just the book for the last languid days of summer

DATE 8/4/2018

Summer seduction in Karine Laval's 'Poolscapes'

DATE 8/3/2018

Join us at SHOPPE OBJECT Independent Home & Gift Show

DATE 8/3/2018

1940s Black Chicago in 'A Vision Shared'

DATE 8/2/2018

Back in Stock! The Essential Cy Twombly

DATE 8/2/2018

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Hank O'Neal's 'A Vision Shared'

DATE 8/1/2018

ARTBOOK | D.A.P. Welcomes SPBH Editions!

DATE 8/1/2018

ARTBOOK | D.A.P. Welcomes SPBH Editions!

DATE 8/1/2018

Still the best: 'The Essential Cy Twombly'

DATE 7/31/2018

Identity: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv

DATE 7/30/2018

Identity: Six decades of logo design by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv

DATE 7/29/2018

NEW! Picasso: Ceramics

DATE 7/29/2018

Recto / Verso: Art Publishing in Practice

DATE 7/28/2018

Special magic in 'This Is No Dream: Making Rosemary's Baby'

DATE 7/28/2018

Christopher Willoughby & James Munn launch "This Is No Dream: Making Rosemary’s Baby" at Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

DATE 7/27/2018

This Is No Dream… Reel Art Press celebrates the 50th anniversary of 'Rosemary's Baby'

DATE 7/26/2018

Frail and beautiful and deeply human

DATE 7/25/2018

Psychological and erotic, "Saul Leiter: In My Room"

DATE 7/24/2018

Burt Glinn's 'The Beat Scene'—a national treasure

DATE 7/23/2018

From East to West, Upper Bohemia to Lower: Burt Glinn documented 'The Beat Scene'

DATE 7/22/2018

Celebrate the SF Art Book Fair with 'Protest: The Aesthetics of Resistance'

DATE 7/22/2018

'Posturing' at Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

DATE 7/21/2018

Sara Jane Boyers & Shana Nys Dambrot on "Life Doesn't Frighten Me" at Artbook at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

DATE 7/21/2018

Find summertime staff favorite 'Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums' at the SF Art Book Fair

DATE 7/20/2018

From Kenneth Anger to Agnès Varda: Jonas Mekas' 'Conversations with Film-makers'

DATE 7/20/2018

'Shoplifters 7' launch at Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

DATE 7/19/2018

Mario Carnicelli's American Voyage

DATE 7/18/2018

Renate Aller and Terrie Sultan talk and signing at Parrish Art Museum

DATE 7/18/2018

Renate Aller and Terrie Sultan talk and signing at Parrish Art Museum

DATE 7/18/2018

Blurring and deformation in 'Bacon / Giacometti'

DATE 7/17/2018

The milestone telling its story in 'Bacon / Giacometti'

DATE 7/16/2018

Join us at the 2018 SF Art Book Fair!

DATE 7/16/2018

MoMA's 'Toward a Concrete Utopia' revives a lost architecture

DATE 7/15/2018

Fantastic Brutalism in hot MoMA show, 'Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980'

DATE 7/14/2018

BACK IN STOCK! Deanna Templeton: The Swimming Pool

DATE 7/13/2018

David Hockney, palm trees and homoeroticism in 'Paradise is Now'

DATE 7/12/2018

Celebrate the radical optimism of Buckminster Fuller during the month of his birth 123 years ago!

DATE 7/12/2018

Palm trees and art in 'Paradise Is Now'

DATE 7/11/2018

Game-changing fashion photography in Posturing

DATE 7/11/2018

An eerie time machine: Unearthing Ancient Nubia

DATE 7/9/2018

Visit us at the Atlanta Gift & Home Furnishings Market

DATE 7/9/2018

Fluid and improvisational, 'Saul Leiter: Early Color'

DATE 7/8/2018

Saul Leiter, offbeat chronicler of metropolitan scenes

DATE 7/7/2018

In 'Saul Leiter: Early Color,' urban visual poetry that is by turns deeply affectionate, edgy and breathtakingly poignant

DATE 7/6/2018

Bruno Ceschel & Shonagh Marshall to launch 'Posturing' at MAST


BOOKS IN THE MEDIA

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/25/2012

Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine

Adelita's new book on the pioneering Carnaby Street designer responsible for backless "Bumster" jeans, Jimmy Hendrix's ruffled shirts and Mick Jagger's infamous "Zodiac" cape, worn at Altamont, is treated to a full page in the May issue of W magazine, in which Diane Solway talks to "Swinging London's pop pioneer," Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom.

Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine

MODERN ENGLISH
With his outrageous fashion emporiums, Tommy Roberts was the go-to guy
for rock royalty.
DIANE SOLWAY talks to Swinging London’s pop pioneer.

Twiggy wore the store’s signature Mickey Mouse T-shirt, and Jean Shrimpton loved its clingy vest dress. Mick Jagger was a fan of the appliquéd- zodiac-sign T-shirts, while Elton John favored the flamboyant winged ankle boots, which he showcased on his breakout 1971 U.S. tour. Then there was Peter Sellers, another habitué, who could often be found lingering around taking photos of the pretty young birds who flocked about the Mr. Freedom store.

One of the most innovative boutiques in rock fashion history, Mr. Freedom was as much a show as a shop—a fashion, art, and design mecca for Swinging London’s most outré set. In his new book, Mr. Freedom—Tommy Roberts: British Design Hero (Adelita), Paul Gorman tells the story of the boutique’s driving force: the stocky maverick entrepreneur Tommy Roberts, “one of those unpindownable figures,” the author says, “who fast-tracked vanguard ideas right into the mainstream.” Roberts was the first to sell slogan T-shirts, license images from Disney, and integrate the new Pop aesthetic into everything from the clothes and furniture he sold to the decorating of his shop, a task he regularly put in the hands of young designers and artists just out of art school. Hot pants, chairs shaped like dentures, and window displays of huge detergent boxes were the order of the day. Though Mr. Freedom’s moment was fleeting, such was its impact that when Cecil Beaton organized the Victoria and Albert Museum’s first fashion exhibition, in 1971, he featured 24 of the label’s pieces alongside loans from the British royal family, Madame Grès, Balenciaga, and Mary Quant.

A onetime student at Goldsmiths College, the ebullient Roberts, now 70, debuted his first shop near Carnaby Street in 1966. Called Kleptomania, it sold Victoriana, military wear, caftans, and penny-farthing bicycles. The club next door, Bag O’Nails, was home to the rock glitterati of the period, and it wasn’t long before the Who became store regulars and Jimi Hendrix owned the signature frilly-front shirts.

But in 1969 Roberts decided to change things up: Opting for bright, bold color and a cartoonish aesthetic, he opened Mr. Freedom at 430 Kings Road in Chelsea, a space that would eventually be taken over by customers Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. “If you were a pop star wanting to make a bit of an impression,” recalls Roberts, “we were the shop to go to.” Paloma Picasso bought her father a T-shirt for his birthday there; indeed, wearing Roberts’s jersey maxi dresses and velvet hot pants was statement-making in that pre-stylist era. “It was anti-hippie,” Gorman says. “You weren’t walking around in sandals and flares; you were wearing these things from an aggressive youth cult. His store was very urban—a reaction to the bucolic folkie celebration.” Roberts relocated in 1970 to a three-story “countercultural department store” in tonier Kensington, creating a pioneering lifestyle emporium where Elton John and Rod Stewart jammed one night on the tiny stage in Mr. Feed ’Em, the brashly colored basement diner.

In yet another about-face two years later, Roberts debuted City Lights Studio, the first fashion store in Covent Garden, stocking it with somber, tailored suits for both sexes—such as the box-jacket one David Bowie wore on the back cover of his 1973 Pin Ups—in a goth setting that anticipated the glam-rock scene. Coffins hung from chains, the black floor was spackled in gold glitter, and Schoenberg provided the soundtrack. (Yohji Yamamoto later credited City Lights Studio as an influence on him as a young designer.)

After the store’s closing in 1974, Roberts managed Ian Dury’s art band and subsequently became an influential housewares, antiques, and furniture dealer, introducing Memphis design and Tom Dixon to savvy collectors. “He appeared to kind of disappear,” Gorman says. “But, of course, he didn’t.” This book ensures that he won’t.

Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine
IMAGE CAPTIONS: Clockwise, from top left: Models in Mr. Freedom T-shirts and hot pants, 1970; Tommy Roberts, 1970; Mr. Freedom shop on Kings Road, 1969; Jimi Hendrix in a Kleptomania shirt, 1967; Mr. Freedom Disney T-shirt; Roberts’s own pair of winged boots; Elton John performs in the iconic boots, 1971; Kleptomania exterior, 1967; David Bowie in a City Lights Studio suit on the back cover of Pin Ups, 1973; Mick Jagger in Mr. Freedom cap and T-shirt, 1971.

Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine
Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine
Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine
Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine
Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine
Tommy Roberts: Mr. Freedom Reviewed in W Magazine



ARTBOOK LOGO
 
 

the art world's source for books on art & culture

  

CUSTOMER SERVICE
orders@artbook.com
212 627 1999
M-F 9-5 EST

TRADE ACCOUNTS

800 338 2665

CONTACT

JOBS + INTERNSHIPS

NEW YORK
Showroom by Appointment Only
75 Broad Street, Suite 630
New York NY 10004
Tel   212 627 1999

LOS ANGELES
Showroom by Appointment Only
818 S. Broadway, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel. 323 969 8985

ARTBOOK LLC
D.A.P. | Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.


All site content Copyright C 2000-2017 by Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. and the respective publishers, authors, artists. For reproduction permissions, contact the copyright holders.

ARTBOOK AMPERSAT

The D.A.P. Catalog
www.artbook.com