Acme Attractions - History

History

Acme Attractions was inspired by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's Fifties-inspired boutique Let it Rock (revamped in 1972 and renamed Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die). In spring 1974, a radical change saw the shop become SEX: selling fetish wear and Westwood's innovative designs.

Acme's owner, John Krevine, decided to venture into clothing with a man called Steph Raynor. In 1974, Acme Attractions initially opened as a stall on the Kings Road, Chelsea in a place called the Antiquarius. While the store was owned by Krevine and Raynor its public face was Don Letts who says that Acme was selling, "electric-blue zoot suits and jukeboxes, and pumping dub reggae all day long.". The store would actually have to move to the basement, after complaints about Don Lett's pounding dub reggae.

Within two weeks of opening there were queues around the block to get in. Steph Raynor remembers:

We had an office with a (one)-way mirror, and we´d sit in there watching and pissing ourselves because we were so excited at how busy it was, ... I´d get home some nights and I´d have thousand of pounds to count out all over the carpet.
— Steph Raynor part owner of Acme
We'd try the clothes on in Acme Attractions, fluffy fake fur jumpers with plastic see-through breast panels, rubber tops and trousers. I wanted plastic dungarees, but they looked horrible. I got Mum to copy the clothes, tight black T-shirts with zips across the nipples. "I should open my own shop. This stuff takes five minutes to make" Mum didn't understand the importance of an original.
— Boy George

By the mid 70s, Acme had quite a scene attracting the likes of The Clash, the Sex Pistols, Chrissie Hynde, Patti Smith, Deborah Harry and Bob Marley. Letts remembers that "Marley ... come by because he knew he could get a good draw from the thriving black-market action that also went on in Acme." The Acme accountant, Andy Czezowski, seeing the potential in the crowd the store attracted started up The Roxy, the first punk-rock venue in London, so that people could go from the store and have some place to party. Letts was the first house DJ.

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