John Sutcliffe [Edit]

John Sutcliffe (died 1987) was a British designer of kinky clothing, and publisher of kinky publications.

Kink-related work

Sutcliffe designed the leather catsuit worn by Marianne Faithfull in the 1968 film The Girl on a Motorcycle. He influenced the leather catsuits worn by Emma Peel on the 1961-1969 television show The Avengers, but did not make them.

He published the kinky clothing magazine AtomAge, which was published from 1972 until 1980. 

In 1982 Sutcliffe published Jim Dickson’s novel The Story Of Gerda, about a fashion model forced to become a slave. The police were alerted to this and there was a police raid, a £1,000 fine, and a seizure of stock. As well, the back catalogue of AtomAge was pulped.

At one point Sutcliffe designed a sewing machine specifically for leather, and came to Singer in hopes they would manufacture it. However, according to his friend Robert Henley, “Singer were so horrified, they called the police.”

Personal life

Sutcliffe’s feelings about leather were diagnosed as a symptom of mental illness, leading to his mental breakdown, his quitting of his engineering job, his divorce, and his moving out of his family’s house.

Posthumous honors

In 2023 Sutcliffe was inducted into the Leather Hall of Fame.