From the moment I first stepped inside Kit Neale’s dazzlingly printed world, a cultural kaleidoscope that reimagines suburban and multicultural Britain, I have felt right at home. His studio, an enclave of effervescent energy on a quiet street located just off Columbia Road, is a busy universe filled with rails of reverie dancing around haphazardly placed trinkets, paintings and well thumbed magazines. Amongst the noise, the confident face of Felix quietly watches on. Shot by Jamie Morgan for The Face in 1984, the cocky twelve year old guards the memory of Buffalo as Ray’s revolution rumbles on. The book has pride of place in Neale’s space. “It is our bible,” he proudly proclaims whilst stroking the good book, ripples of reverence course through his slight frame. Here, he tells us the story behind it.
Kit Neale and the buffalo stance
“When my family moved from Peckham to Gosport, a small town on the south coast, I missed London style. I had to order in The Face, i-D and Arena because it was my connection back to the capital, my escape. Ultimately, it’s what excited me. When I discovered Ray Petri and the Buffalo movement my eyes were opened. I was and continually am, drawn to this moment. I remember stumbling across this book in a strange little bookshop inside Old Street station. At that time I had no idea that such a volume of his work existed but squealed ‘Oh My God!’ when I realised what it was.
It sounds really cheesy but If I’m ever feeling uninspired I return to it. I think every Kit Neale collection will take something from atleast one image. I look at it, not for garment design reference but to channel the attitude. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve mentioned his work in interviews. I’m obsessed. It is extremely well edited and his body of work is so impressive. It’s so far reaching. There can’t be many London menswear designers who haven’t referenced by Buffalo. I think London menswear would be quite different without Ray Petri. Kit Neale would undoubtedly be different without Ray Petri.” Kit Neale