Kenneth Malcolm John Crittle was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He was one of seven children of Charles Crittle and Sylvia Golden Crittle (née Rose), and his brother is Peter Crittle, who played 15 times for the Australian national rugby union team and was later a barrister. Through his mother, John Crittle was a direct descendant of Thomas Rose, the English farmer who in 1793, was the first free settler to reach Australia.
The London fashion boutique Dandie Fashions was opened in Autumn 1966, following a chance encounter at the Speakeasy Club between Freddie Hornik and Alan Holston, who then got together with Crittle and the Guinness heir Tara Browne, and launched the new business.
Dandie Fashions was initially at Kensington Mews, South Kensington, but quickly relocated to 161 King's Road, Chelsea in October 1966. Crittle and Tara Browne wanted a retail outlet for their new tailoring company Foster and Tara. In December 1966, Browne died in a car crash, while he was on his way to discuss shop front designs with the graphic artist David Vaughan. Crittle bought his share of the business. His clients included Princess Margaret, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
In 1968, Crittle's mother Sylvia arrived from Australia, but it being too late to book into a hotel, slept on the sofa in his King's Road store. Waking in the morning and ascending the staircase, she briefly thought that she saw Jesus in a long white robe with a halo at the top of the stairs. It was actually Jimi Hendrix in his dressing gown, and his "halo" was his expansive afro haircut backlit by the sun. According to Sylvia, he said "Hello, my name's Jimi. John told me I could sleep here tonight".
Crittle returned to Australia in 1974.
Crittle and his then-girlfriend, the model Andrea Williams had a daughter in 1969, the ballet dancer Darcey Bussell (born Marnie Mercedes Darcey Pemberton Crittle). However, Crittle and Williams split up when Bussell was very young, and he returned to Australia, leaving the family in London. In 1975, Andrea Williams married the dentist Philip Bussell. Bussell makes no mention of Crittle in her autobiography.
Crittle also had two other children, Natasha Delahunt Crittle and Jack Paris Kingdom Crittle.
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