Sunday, June 5, 2011

5 Minutes with Andrew Clancey of Any Old Iron

The first retail store of its kind to hit Manhattan, Any Old Iron specializes in selling rare and UK-specific menswear . The majority of the collections featured are exclusive to Any Old Iron and include labels like; Sir Tom Baker’s rock and roll suiting, Bolongaro Trevor’s moody-mod inspired menswear and Child of the Jago from collaborative designers Barnzley, and Joe Corre (Son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren). The shop will also sell exciting and edgy contemporary labels as Fred Perry, Fred Perry Raf Simons, Electronic Poet, B-Store, Unconditional, London Undercover, S***R shoes, and Red Mutha

Any Old Iron is the brainchild of designer/stylist, Andrew Clancey and arts-entrepreneur, Christopher Melton. The shop’s name is rooted in the olden cry of a scrap man collecting metal with his horse and cart, and also hearkens to Clancey’s family scrap metal business which was founded in 1872. “Any Old Iron,” is also an Old English music hall song which references a young man’s sartorial dandyism – a quality that is distinctly English, and, ever-present in the shop’s design and the legion of British designers featured. In addition to exclusive collections, rare and sought-after antiques will also be for sale.

Any Old Iron is located on 149 Orchard Street, NYC. An

Q1. What was the first record you bought and what effect did it have on you?

A. The first record I bought was 'We are Family' by Sister Sledge, I didn't even have a record player. I was 2 months from my birthday and knew I would get one so on a family holiday went all in and spent all my holiday money on it. Some would think it's a cool first record which I think it is but my second record was 'I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper' by Sarah Brightman and third 'The Smurf Song' by the Baron Knights. Coolness really was some way off.

Q2. What's the best club you've ever been to and why?

I did the door of a club called Speedqueen in Leeds for 3 years so there's was a lot of happy memories there. It was originally called Vague and was one of the first mixed dress up clubs in the UK. It was never about the music thank god as the music policy never changed in the time I was there, to me clubbing was all about the dressing up and socializing and still is today. I was a very big fan and supporter of Big Top, Amanda LePore, Kenny Kenny and Joey Israel's night which has sadly ended. It was the closest thing to Speedqueen I've been to and I worked in Ibiza in and out for 10 years. Oh shit hang on, Space Terrace was the best club I've been to, the first one I attended we were amongst the few English in attendance and remember Jean Paul Gaultier being there and no one even batting an eye lid. Was too cool for that, it had the most cosmopolitan crowd until us British spoiled it with our mini invasion. Ibiza's still great though, always make one trip a year at least..

Q3. What is or was the most iconic fashion retail store and why?

A. Well you would have to say SEX for what it spawned but for me but was a big fan of the Pineal Eye in Broadwick Street London. I bought my first Jeremy Scott, my first Dior , my first Vava Dudu, my first Bernhard Willhem, first Leive Van Gorp etc etc. You would find a one of a kind piece every time you went in. I'm trying to do the same with Any Old Iron, bringing small runs of exclusive UK designers such as Dr Noki mixed with the more well known labels such as Unconditional and Liam Gallaghers line Pretty Green , you need that balance. A lot of great stores closed because they didn't have that I feel.

Q4. Where did you find inspiration for your shop?

A. My family business started in 1872 was a scrap metal yard, so wanted in the store's name an aesthetic to reflect that. When I first came to New York I had thought of the name Rag n Bone which quickly dissipated when I googled it! It's what my grandparents used to shout off the back of their horse n cart when collecting scrap metal, the other phrase was Any Old Iron which is also an English Music Hall song about looking dapper so it all tied in with the antique Iron to totally confuse everything. We have antiques in the store that we sell too although this s just a sideline to the main fashion.

Q5. Do you think that rapid information exchange via the Internet means that 'brick & mortar' retail is less important?

A. I think you still need a bricks n mortar store as a kind of business card, people like a physical presence especially it seems in the US. Europe is ahead of internet shopping for fashion but the US is catching up. We are on Far Fetch which has been very good for us and are trying different ways to get our own website more prominent. It's sad to think that people don't go out and shop as much as I like it as a social experience but we want to do so much more than just shop nowadays. Why spend Saturday shopping when you could be kitesurfing with Orangoutangs in the Hamptons if you get my gist?

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