The Krays at M&S; - high street giants' new line of gangster chic


Last updated at 23:21 08 September 2007

As one half of the notorious Kray twins, gangster Ronnie always did have a ruthless sense of fashion.

He loved nothing better than being snapped in the latest sharp suit while he ruled the underworld along with his brother Reggie.

And now his gangster style is making a comeback - and at Marks & Spencer of all places.

Chief Executive Stuart Rose has struck a deal with one of Ronnie's tailors to create designs for the chain's upmarket Autograph range.

Mark Powell, who used to visit the killer in prison for fittings, usually sells his bespoke suits for £1,600 from his premises in London's Soho.

But M&S will market its new range from the designer for as little as £200, in an effort to bring in more younger male shoppers.

Powell, 46, also designed suits for the violent British movie Gangster No 1, starring Paul Bettany. But the tailor, who was brought up in London's East End, yesterday said: 'It's really a romantic conception that gangsters dress well. The average criminal these days will wear jeans instead of pinstripe.'

Lately his customers have included Keira Knightley, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe and singer Usher.

Powell fitted Ronnie in jail in an attempt to sweeten him up by producers of the 1990 film The Krays, which starred Gary and Martin Kemp.

The gangster had already served 22 years of a life sentence for the murders of George Cornell and Jack 'The Hat' McVitie.

Reggie received the same sentence at the Old Bailey and both were ordered to serve a minimum of 30 years. Ronnie died in prison in 1995, aged 61, followed by Reggie in 2000, aged 66.

Powell's range will feature in a handful of stores from November.

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