Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet

In the mid-sixties Jimmy Connors founded the store "I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet." It was run by Robert Orbach and owned by Ian Fisk. The original store was at 293 Portobello Road in Notting Hill. Due to great popularity throughout 1966 and 1967 new stores opened on Kings Road and Carnaby Court.

It mainly sold uniforms(most military), movie costumes, vintage and pop-art clothing. Products were also available by mail order.

Jimmy Connor in the shop

I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet was a favourite store of Jimi Hendrix who purchased his well known braided military coat there. Other celebrity's that frequented the boutique were Eric Clapton, The Beatles and The Who. Peter Blake said that he got the idea for the The Beatles Sergeant Peppers album cover while walking past the shop.

The shops soon started to attract tourists. In reaction to this new novelty items such as post cards and ash trays became available.

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Blogger molly said...

YESSSSSSS a new post!
this one was actually really interesting, i know you thought i wasnt going to be into it but i was!

do you have a picture of jimi hendrix in that jacket?

March 6, 2007 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Touche19 said...

great post!!!!

March 7, 2007 at 6:11 AM  
Blogger Emma said...

yay! you posted!
and an awesome post at that!
that jacket is muy muy awesome.

March 7, 2007 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger Flower said...

do you know if it still exists at those adresses?

May 23, 2007 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

That is pretty cool. I love that I'm going to walk past these areas now and think of what you've said. And that Jimi Hendrix was there too? Added bonus I think.

PS. Thanks, I was starting to think that maybe it was a little big for a header but maybe not eh?

January 3, 2008 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger i get ideas. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 19, 2008 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger owenbthompson said...

Hi. Last night at a party I was wearing a shirt I bought from "I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet" c.1967 - and it still fits me - just!! It is sort of cerise with mauve and purple swirls on it and has the Union Jack label with the name on it. It got me thinking, so I googled and found this site. Also, nobody seems to mention where the name came from: I have always assumed it was in response to the hit song "I was Kaiser Bill's Batman".

January 1, 2009 at 1:48 AM  
Blogger Londoner said...

This one is for Nicola, Re Lord Kitcheners Valet. I was there Nicola, in fact I worked for the company as manager for the Carnaby Street store. My brother Ray was in business with one of the owners,John, with secondhand furniture right next door to the first IWLKV shop on Portobello Road. The one you call the owners is not correct, it was in Fact John Poul, Ian Fisk was John´s Partner. Robert was manager at the first Piccadiily Circus store where I also worked as AM.
I together with John Poul and a girl from the store, Caroline were in a Pathe News film about London Fashion, Bonnie & Clyde / longhaired Afghan coats etc, also we were filmed outside Buck House, unfortuently that bit was never shown in the cinemas, after almost 40 years of wanting to see the film again I found it on the Pathe News web-site. If I had your e-mail address I could mail you the film. The guys name, who you mention as the owner I have never ever heard of, and was not part of the owner team.
Regards and hope to hear from you, ps Who are you since you know about IWLKV ???, ps. I was at the store on Portobello Road when the Beech Boys came in to buy some jackets.

October 21, 2009 at 6:11 AM  
Blogger radicalbrit said...

We are in the old shop now as Hideout Classics,still selling vintage stuff and new Diesel.We will be at goodwoodvintage show this August.Tony

June 28, 2010 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger tim 8>)... said...

Wow, used to shop at the Picadilly store when I lived in London 1970 - 1971. Great stuff, wish I still owned the stuff I bought there!

August 20, 2010 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger 1979-Mod said...

With regard Hendrix's jacket, it was the owners who refused to part with it, everyone was after it, Hendrix hassled him for a full day starting offer of £5 ...... in the end he paid £250, cash, worth about £5K in 'todays money'

October 23, 2011 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Nicola Featherstone said...

Hello Stephen,

I know that this is a long shot but if you happen to run across this comment please email featherstonevintage@gmail.com

I tried your email but it is no longer valid. I would love to hear more about your experience working for I Was Lord Kitcheners Valet. Thank you for the response and corrections,


November 15, 2012 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger thomas salter said...

Stephen C is correct about the owners of Lord K's. In fact John Paul was the only one I dealt with in those days although I knew Ian Fisk was his partner. Paul as he was known as and I went off together to buy the embroidered coats known as Afghan, to Persia, and brought a whole load back which we sold in our shops. My shops were called Gear, and Kids in Gear, and various other names in Carnaby Street, and Kings Rd. I realise peoples memories are different after many years or in some cases embroidered, Love to all, Tom Salter

November 10, 2013 at 4:45 AM  

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