I’ve never read an autobiography about someone who’s had such a varied and exciting life. His name is Tony Porter and he’s one of the founding members of British Fashion week, now famously known as London Fashion Week!
Whatever Next? is full of memoirs from an individual who led a typical life of hardship and success, going from job to job until he had enough money to buy himself an island. (Standard life eh?!)
His work was mainly involved in Fashion and has since opened many doors to him, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Twiggy, Cilla Black and other stars of the sixties. In relation to London Fashion Week, Tony has watched the event grow and grow with the support of Zandra Rhodes, Jean Muir and others along the way.
“Mixing as I do, with so many ages and careers. I found that people could not believe how many things I had done,” observes Tony Porter. “They laugh frequently at the way I told anecdotes, so I thought it was time to write them down, alongside an amazing collection of images.”
And thank god he did because this is definitely a lifestory that needs to be told. Following medical problems early in his life, Tony certainly made up for it. He started his career selling paint for ICI, who then sent him to Nigeria, where he married his partner Beatrice and had three children. Eight years later, he left ICI and immersed himself into then, the swinging sixties in London. Selling high fashion in Kensington, for the renowned store Biba, this man was very lucky to have known the founder of Biba. After all, how could he not when that person is his sister-in-law?!
“Biba’s fame grew and grew on an international basis, and brought famous stars of the sixties into the shop. Twiggy, a close friend of Barbara and her husband Fitz, was often around. During my time there, Marianne Faithful, Mia Farrow, Cilla Black and Yoko Ono all came in. On one occasion, word went round that Brigitte Bardot was in the shop, and I couldn’t resist going in to goggle at my favourite star!”
After leaving Biba, Tony eventually started up his own fashion PR business in the West End of London and this is where Tony’s career really took of. He earned himself enough money to buy a yacht, and in due course, Burgh Island which is off the south coast of Devon. Having restored it’s Art Deco hotel, they sold the island and now Tony is concentrating on his new career as a writer.
If you’re into fashion, then this is a must read. You’ll also love this if you’re stuck in a rut and need a little motivation! He’s got heaps of it!
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