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The Emperor Of Wyoming, 404 King’s Road

//Stetson, embroidered shirt and hand-tooled leather belt from The Emperor Of Wyoming. Photo: David Parkinson for Club International, February 1974.//

Billy Murphy’s boutique The Emperor Of Wyoming was an extremely important staging post not just in the story of British rock and roll fashion but also the development of the vintage scene in this country.

Opened by Murphy at 404 King’s Road in 1972, TEOW specialised in selected items of Westernwear and American clothing at a time when the pickings were slim for such garments in London.

As one of the standard bearers for vintage in the mid-70s, Murphy – who’s a great guy and still very active in Chelsea social circles – is the missing link between the niche sales of Americana imported and explored by Trevor Myles at the nearby Paradise Garage in 1971 and the explosion of interest when another King’s Road outlet, Flip, started shipping substantial amounts into the UK towards the end of the decade.

These pages from Club International were styled and shot by the late David Parkinson.

Mixed with items from City Lights Studio (one of the shops operated by Tommy Roberts, the subject my new book), Old Compton Street’s The Westerner, the Flea Market and Jesse Mae (another and more short-lived second-hand Western store in World’s End), the clothes from TEOW demonstrate why it is so fondly remembered.

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Author: / Published: Apr 20th, 2012 / Category: 430 King's Road, Chelsea, London, Magazines, Photography, Tommy Roberts: Mister Freedom / Comments: None

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