How do I look?: Ben Esser, musician, 23

I have extreme views towards people who wear certain clothes. But not towards the clothes themselves. There are people whose clothes offend everyone. Russell Brand, for one, but maybe that's just him.

Scenes move fast and some don't penetrate the mainstream. I'm from a small town in Essex, and Essex was closed off from a lot that went on. I saw a lot of Adidas trousers, Spliffy jackets and Naf Naf. I got my view of what the masses were consuming – what was fashionable, what was popular – from magazines and nightclubs. You can get confused.

Wearing a pair of Doc Martens is like buying into an exclusive club. It is about separating yourself from society. That has to be done with an understanding, an awareness, of what you're wearing.

You can tell people who have bought a ready-made outfit from those who have a natural understanding of the clothes they wear. Authenticity is what makes it believable.

Fred Perry: that name, that logo. It's a classic, a British sporting icon and a ska-punk emblem. It says a lot. This shirt is a collaboration with Raf Simons. A very good thing.

I do stuff for my fashion. If something is uncomfortable, I ride it out. These 1950s hunting trousers are from Mint in Covent Garden. They're tapered with elasticated bottoms and they're comfy, too.

I went through the blond, Nick Heyward thing. I started with a Forties slick-back, then it got more extreme as I shaved up the sides. Now it's a 1970s post-punk style. I go to a proper old rockabilly place on Carnaby Street.

When you get a tattoo, you're saying: "I can't get a normal job now so I have to do this properly." That's what is amazing. You're limiting yourself, so you have to go all the way. I've got Victorian hand signs tattooed on either side of my neck. My mum almost cried. I decided to start on my neck; it leaves space to get more done.

Esser's new single 'Satisfied' is out now

Comments