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Donnelly brothers seek investor to grow Your Own

The brothers behind men’s young fashion brand Your Own (Y-O) are on the hunt for a financial partner to support store openings and overseas expansion.

Anthony and Christopher Donnelly, who founded Y-O in 2012 after making their names setting up streetwear brand Gio-Goi in 1987, are seeking a backer to take a minority stake of about 20% to 30%.

They plan to use the investment to open 10 stores in locations including London and Manchester within two years and to begin wholesaling the brand in international markets such as the US and China.

The brothers declined to reveal the exact size or potential value of the stake being sold, stating it was dependent on the investor.

Anthony Donnelly told Drapers the pair would retain majority control but declined to confirm the size of their current holding in the business.

In the past year, Liam Griffiths, managing director of clothing manufacturer Liam David based in Liverpool, and Andy Rutherford, co-founder of global entertainment company Three Six Zero Group, have each taken minority stakes of an undisclosed size in Y-O.

Drapers understands the share currently offered will be larger thanthose taken by Griffiths and Rutherford, giving the future investor the second-largest stake in the company.

The Donnellys have no preference as to the type of partner sought – whether foreign or British – but since they already have the connections from their Gio-Goi days to build a UK wholesale business, an investor with international and retail connections would help support their wider growth plans. They hope to bring someone in before Christmas.

Y-O originally launched in River Island for a short spell in 2012, but its autumn 14 range represents the first real wholesale push. It now has 10 stockists including Sports Direct-owned USC, Shoreditch independent Present and the Scotts chain, which is part of JD Sports Fashion.

Last month, the brand opened concessions across 10 Topman stores including Manchester

Arndale, Newcastle and Reading. The range in Topman offers 54 pieces, including coats, jackets, sweatshirts and polo shirts.

Anthony Donnelly said: “We want someone to come in to structure the business and guide the company on a global path. We don’t want someone to just take a stake in the business; just money is no good. We have all the right ingredients for the brand but we need someone to channel it. We have the UK covered – we want to make it global in places like China and the US.”

He added: “We wouldn’t sell our souls again,” referring to their sale of a majority stake in Gio-Goi to USC co-founder David Douglas in 2005.

The pair finally stepped away from Gio-Goi, a previous Young Fashion Brand of the Year winner at the Drapers Awards, in 2012. A year later, JD Sports Fashion rescued it from administration.

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