Joe Bloggs was born out of the Haçienda,” says Kashif Ahmed, managing director of Juice Corporation, which owns the streetwear label. “Joe Bloggs is tied in with the Manchester music scene [from the Madchester era] and it was developed from our wholesale business.”
Juice Corporation, which also owns young fashion label Rock & Revival and holds the licence for classic British brand Kangol, was born out of Ahmed’s father’s Pennywise cash-and-carry business in Manchester in 1980, which sold brands like Wrangler, Lee and Levi’s to market traders. Juice Corporation is now a private-label firm but created Joe Bloggs in 1985 and recently Rock & Revival, which debuted for spring 10 and is also rooted in Manchester’s music scene.
“It’s more of a bling brand,” says Ahmed of the gothic-inspired Rock & Revival collection of T-shirts, denim and dresses for men and women.
Ahmed says Juice Corporation’s ability to design product is what makes it an attractive proposition for brands looking for a licensing partner, such as Kangol, whose clothing licence Juice Corporation acquired at the end of last year.
“We know how to transform brands,” he says. “They come to us because they want a different handwriting.” Juice Corporation will target a “more street, urban and cool customer with a more sophisticated and subtle [aesthetic].”
Juice Corporation was attracted to Kangol because of the brand’s rich heritage (it launched in 1938) as a hat brand, and in order to expand its own portfolio to better target “a mid-market sector of 20 to 35-year-olds,” says Ahmed. “We just managed to deliver a small spring 10 capsule range and have had a great reaction, with fantastic repeats. For autumn, we’ll introduce more jackets, shirting and knitwear, as currently it’s just T-shirts, polos and jeans.”
Ahmed is convinced of Manchester’s ongoing success in the fashion industry and shares the entrepreneurial spirit of many of his peers: “Manchester is one of the main cities, if not the centre, for fashion in the country. We’re special up here; we have a special talent and a hunger to succeed.” Red or blue? Red.
Kashif Ahmed is managing director of supplier Juice Corporation