Defining a classic with Jourdan Dunn and Fat Tony
A Classic Collaboration celebrates the white trainer in a series of short films. Here, Jourdan Dunn tells The Face what she wants to be when she grows up...
The Face is partnering with adidas to sing the praises of a footwear icon, helped by friends and famous fans. Your host: Fat Tony, who will be speaking to a special guest or two in the next coming weeks…
The slow jamz classic that is Intro’s 1994 cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Ribbon In The Sky’. “I don’t really do albums any more, I do playlists… but that [track] makes me cry.” Boxfresh, she says, “all day… definitely not busted.” And feeling “super-gassed for Toy Story 4… I’m a big kid, so I love anything Disney or Pixar.”
As we might expect of model, actress and entrepreneur Jourdan Dunn, she knows what she likes and she likes what she knows. Put on the spot by THE FACE/adidas’s Home of Classics style arbiter Fat Tony, Jourdan tells it like it is.
So her childhood dream of career might surprise you. Yes, she will admit to a stress-induced, fashion-facing use of wet wipes (but, of course, disposes of them eco-responsibly). And, for sure, she’s a white trainer OG, first rocking “the freshest shoes” on non-uniform day at school in London.
Find out her philosophy for life, her ambitions for five years from now, and what Jourdan did want to be when she grew up, here…
Fat Tony – DJ, supremely well-connected creative and the host of this series, started on wrong-headed snobbery about white trainers. Booked to play one time at Annabel’s, he turned up at the old school central London private club in a black suit and white kicks.
As far as the carved-in-stone-age door policy was concerned, that was a no-no. Tony promptly turned on his crisp white heels and headed into the night. The next thing he knows, the promoter is on the phone.
“No come back, come back, you’re allowed in!” he pleaded.
“No, I’m not coming back,” Tony shot back. “And I’m keeping the money.”
The host of our The Face x adidas x white trainers film series laughs as he recounts the story.
“I was so offended by the fact they said I couldn’t come in [wearing] trainers. How dare you? How dare you?” he splutters. Times, of course, have changed. Now a crisp white trainer is its own kind of classic. And for this man who knows the dancefloor better than most, his classic album? Easy! No More Drama by the one and only Mary J. Blige.
Wear a classic white shoe and there will be no more drama. Even if you step to Annabel’s in them. Probably.
Below, Tony gives us another story or two…
“We were born ready,” notes Neneh Cherry affectionately of herself and old club-going pal Fat Tony. “We had a life force together,” the singer continues, talking about a circle of friends whose bonds were forged on the London dancefloor of the early Eighties. “And we were there. ’Cause we weren’t there to be seen. We were there to live the life.”
The musician has been sure-footed ever since, a pop-cultural icon who’s been making matchless music – and appearing on the cover of THE FACE the first time round – since the release of legendary debut single Buffalo Stance in 1988.
And Neneh remains as hungry as ever, as big on classic records as she is on classic fashion designers.
“Azzedine Alaïa is very classic for me!” she beams.
“Ooh, that just made me tingle!” replies Tony.
“I mean, he sewed me into my wedding dress, don’t forget. You were there.”
“I remember that wedding dress!”
And the ever-stylish Neneh’s go-to white trainer outfit now? Hit ‘play’ to find out…
Line of Duty star Vicky McClure knows all about comradeship and righting wrongs – on the hit BBC cop show, the anti-corruption team at AC-12 work best when they work as a team. Little wonder her classic film is Stand by Me.
“I love the fact that it’s just surrounded by friendship,” she tells The Face/adidas’s Home of Classics interviewer-in-chief Fat Tony, “and growing up and trying to discover yourself and discover what’s right and wrong. That film resonated with me at the right time, at the right age. It’s still a film that kids should watch.”
The actress first wore white trainers aged 13, courtesy of her love for the mighty Missy Elliott, “and that is [also] where I discovered adidas”. Still, she wasn’t always so sure-footed with her personal style. The advice she wishes she’d listened to? “My mum telling me not to pluck my eyebrows…I had beautiful eyebrows, and I did not listen.”
Find out what Vicky’s supa dupa fly eyebrows used to look like here…
Step forward, showing a clean pair of heels, Bethany Williams.
Earlier this year the young fashion designer from the Isle of Man was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design – recognition of both her talent and her commitment to sustainability.
It’s an approach that explains her preference for dirty white trainers over ‘box fresh’. “Everything that I buy I usually keep. So I hold on to everything that I wear.”
Her idols, she tells Fat Tony, are 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg and Frances Corner, head of London College of Fashion, “just because she’s shaped the last 15 years of positive fashion”.
As for her hopes for the future: “Ooh, that’s a big question…”
And Bethany gives a big answer. Click through to hear it.
Asked by Fat Tony to define a classic, pro skateboarder, artist and designer Blondey McCoy explains: ”The ability to forge a life for yourself on your own terms… without compromising. Or certainly without betraying yourself or your values… and George Michael is one of those people.”
As for what makes a classic trainer, McCoy puts his foot down: “Longevity. If it stays in people’s minds – or in trainers’ case, on people’s feet – for a long time. The Superstar, for example, is 50 years old. It’s inarguably a classic.”
And he should know. As a skateboarder, he gets through a hundred pairs of trainers a year.
Enjoy the films, find your feet and stay classic.