Text of article published in Twist Magazine – July ’09

The West Yorkshire fabric company John Foster is receiving a growing number of orders from increasingly high-profile, London-based Ace Face Clothing Company, which specialises in 1960s-syle Mod suits. John Foster provides Ace Face wth a range of mohair two-tone cloths, using the iridescent colours that were the hallmark of the original 1960s Mod suits.

After being formed in 2007, Ace Face has enjoyed rapid success, and is now supplying two-tone suits to several bands in the retro music scene, including Madness and the re-formed Specials. For Stuart Murray, Ace Face managing director, the choice of mill was an easy one:

“We like to make sure that we use the original, authentic, two-tone mohair cloth. John Foster provides us with a 3-ply 70% wool / 30% kid mohair quality, and also a more lightweight interpretation in a Super 120s Trevera wool blend with kid mohair. We use John Foster as they really are experts in mohair – if anyone can get it right, they can.”

Matthew Simpson, the John Foster sales director, said:

“The 3-ply wool/mohair fabric is an interesting construction. The 3-ply yarn gives the fabric its vintage characteristics, while the high contrast between warp and weft yarns gives the desired iridescent effect. For us the excitement is working closely with a customer who has a genuine interest in worsted fabrics, and in providing a fabric to their specific requirements. In this case it almost feels like keeping a modern tradition alive. We take single yarn in 100% worsted wool/mohair, and have the yarns twisted to specific requirements. It’s another great example of where we can bring together the talents of the companies that recently bought John Foster. MB Appleton (part of SIL Holdings) are providing the yarn and WT Johnson is providing the all-important finish as it understands what is needed to bring the best out of this type of fabric.”

The colours provided by John Foster for Ace Face’s two-tone suits are: Ruby Blue – a sublime claret with a blue shimmer; Midnight Gold – a striking blue electrified with a dark gold; Blue Jade – a mix of gold with blue to create a hue of green; Forest Claret – a dark emerald green with an aubergine shimmer; Kingfisher – a striking turqoise using blue and green; Bronze – a dark brown hue with a bronze shimmer; Sapphire – a rich dark blue blended with wine; Pale Moss – a subtle shade of green combined with black; Crimson Green – a glorious deep red blended with a dark green; and Vintage Blue – a new mix in a heavier cloth.

As well as the retro music industry, Ace Face is enjoying increasing exposure in the fight market, with its suits being worn by USC champion fighter Dan (the Outlaw) Hardy. The label is also selling a growing number of suits for weddings and proms, a traditional end-of-year high school event in the US which is becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

The continuing revival of British style, as well as the growing desire for authentic, home-grown products, is great news for Ace Face. The company’s creative director, Marc Griffith, a Savile Row tailor said:

“Mods are quintessentially British and as Britain has such a great tailoring pedigree, coupled with our textile and fabric heritage it was important that the essence of Ace Face was British. So much manufacturing is flogged off abroad because it’s cheap – we just didn’t want to be that sort of company.”