Jeff’s salute to all that is great and good in the history of Jeffs.
This week’s Jeff is Jeff Banks!
Jeff Banks is Welsh, so he is already quite awesome. He is also a designer (which pleases greatly our resident sartorialist, Huw Le Lytle). He designs clothes, and jewellery, and homewares (lots of towels). The only design challenge left for Jeff Banks is dog clothes. I did find where a Jeff Banks had a GoFundMe campaign to set up a mobile dog grooming business … but I think this might be a different Jeff Banks … or a very clever ruse.
Despite no entry into the dog apparel business, Jeff Banks has done very well with his sewing. The Queen even gave him a CBE, which is like getting a lot of cheese for a job well done. The University of South Wales also gave Jeff an honorary doctorate. But he says this does not mean he can operate on people or call himself doctor.
He has also collaborated with lots of high street stores, including Sainsbury’s. But they had a bit of a dispute and stopped selling his clothes. Sainsbury’s paid Jeff £1 million and agreed to one of his key demands … to send him a box of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Truffles every week to his door forever. Amazing.
Jeff Banks is also quite outspoken. In fact, I bet he would also object to the Wood Pigeons and their defiance of the laws of physics. Anyway, Jeff Banks is famous for telling Stella McCartney she just isn’t very good and it’s all down to Dad. And he also told Kate Moss that the extent of her design talent was to grab one of her Prada handbags and turn up for the meeting at Topshop to find out what her designs were.
Jeff Banks is also a very keen cyclist and is a lifelong member of Catford Cycling Club. Some people say that Catford is actually named after cats, since it was probably full of wild cats around the ford … so, Catford. Another theory is that it had to do with witchcraft. Another theory is that “the cat” was a nickname for a local landowner. Whatever it was, there are no cats in the Cycling Club. But this blew my mind … Cat Stevens used to live in a flat in Catford.
Jeff Banks was once married to a pop star, called Sandie Shaw, but they divorced in 1978 after 10 years together. Sandie Shaw was known for having iconic feet (not bionic) until she operated on them to make them beautiful by shortening and straightening her toes (there is nothing about this story that I understand). But I don’t think dissatisfaction with her feet had anything to do with their separation. Sandy Shaw also sang about a puppet on a string (as opposed to a hand puppet I suppose). Sandie Shaw and this song won the Eurovision Song Contest for the UK in 1967. Eurovision is a contest where countries battle it out to lose so that they don’t have to spend the millions to host it the following year. So far, apart from Sandie Shaw and a handful of other entries, the UK has been extremely successful at doing this. Fortunately, the UK has been on a winning losing streak since 1997.
I don’t know if Jeff Banks has any plans to design the outfits for Eurovision, but he has had lots of pop star clients, including the Eurythmics. And he lent money to Vivienne Westwood to help her start her own label. And she has lots of pop star friends too. But he says one of his biggest achievements was redesigning the Girl Guide uniforms and finally getting rid of the little brown dress. He did it for free and donated all the designs to the Girl Guide Association. He is quite a generous person in fact. When redesigning the staff uniforms for the Old Royal Naval College, he donated all the silk scarves because they couldn’t afford them, and everybody needs a nice scarf. And if all this isn’t enough, he even loves dogs.
Jeff Banks, we salute you!
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