Nigel Waymouth, as a part of the influential design collective Hapshash and the Coloured Coat alongside Michael English, is renowned for representing 1960s counter-culture and its ideals of free-spiritedness, radicalism and non-conformity.
Posters for the legendary UFO club included icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Who, Soft Machine and The Incredible String Band. The posters, a mix of avant-garde and art nouveau, would come to be the visual definition of psychedelia forevermore. Having studied Economic History at University College London, as well as art at several London colleges, Waymouth worked as a freelance journalist before opening Granny Takes A Trip, a boutique on Kings Road, with his girlfriend Sheila Cohen and John Pearse, a Savile Row-trained tailor, in 1966.
Besides selling Edwardian and antique clothes, they also sold their own designs. Soon, bands such as The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Cream and Pink Floyd were wearing their clothes. In 1966, Waymouth and English were introduced by Joe Boyd and John “Hoppy” Hopkins, co-founders of the UFO club on Tottenham Court Road. Boyd explains: “They never met each other and we basically locked them in a room and said ‘Come out with a poster!’ and they came up with the best thing they ever did.” The partnership would both define and launch an entirely new art market: the sale of commercial posters as art.
By 1967, Waymouth and English had established themselves as one of the most progressive design collectives of the time. Predominant in all the fashionable circles, their psychedelic yet romantic style soon became a familiar trademark. Together, they continued to produce posters and album covers for several years, building around themselves a culture that embraced not only art and design, but also music, lifestyle and fashion.