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

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…

Neneh Cherry

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…

Vicky McClure

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…

Bethany Williams

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.

Blondey McCoy

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.

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