Sunderland singer dressed for success

Frankie Francis

Frankie Francis

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SINGER Frankie Francis has been named as one of the most stylish men in Britain – after bagging bargains from Oxfam on Blandford Street.

The 25-year-old frontman of Frankie and the Heartstrings has been named as number 39 on GQ magazine’s annual most stylish men list.

It’s a prestigious list that sees him rubbing shoulders with the likes of Prince Harry, David Beckham and Elton John, yet the Houghton fashionista says many of his threads are from charity shops.

“I used to run the Oxfam on Blandford Street so I have lots of things from there,” he explains. “I would say that I look back for my fashion guidance at what people wore in the 80s and 50s. It’s my own take on classic styles.”

The former Houghton Kepier School pupil only found out about his inclusion on the list after it was posted on Twitter.

He said: “It’s pretty surreal, but it adds to the everyday life of being in this band at the minute. We are getting surprises every day.

“The other lads have been taking the micky a bit. If it helps to raise the profile of the band it’s a good thing. I beat Simon Cowell and Dermot O Leary on the list which I’m pretty chuffed about.”

The Heartstrings singer was ranked closely behind Washington-born Bryan Ferry who came in at 36 on the list.

Frankie first came to the attention of the magazine’s style gurus after the band took part in a photo shoot last summer.

 A spokesman from GQ says: “From Savile Row to streetwear, 2011’s pick of the bunch habitually sports a vast range of different looks. And quite right, too. Like GQ itself, this list is all about expressing the best a man can be, rather than sticking to a strict party line.

 “What unites this year’s fabulous 50 is an innate sense of style and the confidence to believe that, for the favoured few, it is the man who makes the clothes.”

Frankie’s distinctive hair style –styled at Saks, Holmeside – is also earning fans with “mini Frankies” starting to sport the quiff at gigs.

The new year promises big things for Sunderland five-piece Frankie and The Heartstrings who release their debut album, Hunger, on February 21.

Single Hunger, the album’s title track, has also been named as Radio 1’s single of the week.

It follows on from the success of last year which saw the band play sets at Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading Festivals and Sunderland’s Split Festival.