Marc Worth, the fashion info tycoon is not a man to waste time.
Today, he and his brother Julian, who set up WGSN (Worth Global Style Network) ten years ago, sold the fashion information business to the media group, Emap, for £140 million. And, already, another major fashion venture beckons.
Telegraph Online understands Marc Worth will now immerse himself in a long-cherished ambition to create a full comeback for the Ossie Clark label.
Details of the re-birth are sketchy, at present, but it is understood the label will be re-launched at the next London Fashion Week in February. Worth, 44, has secured the services of the talented young designer, Avsh Alom Gur, who has previously worked with Donna Karan and Chloe, among others, to head a hand-picked design team. Full details will be announced at a media briefing in London within two weeks.
Ossie Clark was one of the most important figures in British fashion in the 1960’s and 1970’s. His languid, ‘retro’ style epitomised the ‘Swinging Sixties’ generation and, nearly thirty years on, continues to inspire.
Clark graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1965 and after a series of magical fashion shows was dubbed ‘the king of the King’s Road’ by the fashion press. He was a contemporary of Mary Quant and Biba.
With his partner-muse and, later, wife as well, Celia Birtwell, the print wizard, he created an iconic silhouette adored by the likes of Marianne Faithfull, Liza Minnelli, Marisa Berensen, Patti Boyd and Jane Asher.
He was seduced by the hedonistic party lifestyle of the time and despite a business deal with Radley which produced his diffusion line, he fell heavily into drugs and debt and – when the 1980’s ushered in the punk movement which quickly renounced Clark’s romanticism – into despair as well.
In 1984, Alfred Radley persuaded Clark to design for two seasons; the clothes were beautiful, but they were his last collections. Although technically out of business, he occasionally created one-off pieces for friends and also in the early 1990’s, trained the designer Bella Freud as a pattern-cutter.
Tragically, Clark was murdered in 1996 in his Holland Park flat by a former lover. In a fashion twist, Celia Birtwell has latterly re-emerged as a fashion figure, using her distinctive floral prints to create a series of capsule collections for Topshop, which bear the ‘vintage’ 30’s-40’s silhouette Clark loved so well.
Meanwhile, the David Hockney, ‘Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy’, painted in 1970, today hangs in Tate Britain and is one of the most visited paintings in the country.