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Lee Rees-Oliviere

Turn the key and just go for it at full throttle

I set up the LRO Design consultancy about three-and-a-half years ago, and yes, things have been slower with projects being put on hold for a while, but there are opportunities out there if you dig deep and pester.

The trick is to be flexible, diverse and persistent.

We have been lucky enough to be retained by a number of our clients, while looking at our own in-house brand opportunities, these being primarily Harvey Mushman, a Steve McQueen-inspired Californian men’s casual brand, and Norton, the fashion arm of the famous Norton Motorcycles company established in 1898.

While flicking through Motorcycle News at the end of last year, I read an article stating that Stuart Garner, a UK-based businessman, had bought back the rights to Norton Motorcycles from the Americans and that he intended to produce a new Commando model for 2009. Being a Norton fan, and having had two of my own, I decided to drop him a line congratulating him, and asking (some would say, pleading) to be involved with developing a clothing range for Norton.

To my surprise I received a response asking if LRO Design would like to pitch for the UK clothing licence.

I of course accepted, roping in my mate Mark Hooper of Numensa to create a business plan, and got the gig.

We set up the Norton clothing business with Stuart Garner, the brand owner, as a partner. We are about to start selling the men’s Norton collection for spring 10, planning to take delivery of the Harvey Mushman range for our website, and continuing to work with our consultancy partners.

I also get to ride the new Commando 961 around the Donington Park race track in Derby. It doesn’t get much better than that.

  • Lee Rees-Oliviere is the owner of fashion consultancy LRO Design

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