The twin brothers and Essex Fashion Week founders tell Keely Stocker why their OOOY menswear label aims to stand out from the crowd.
How did you get into the fashion industry?
Adam Ryan (right in main picture) We both completed a degree in Graphic Design with Fashion at the London College of Printing. After leaving university, I found it hard to get a job, so I spent a lot of time at Camden and Brick Lane markets, where I used to buy materials and customise clothing. I started the brand One Off One You (OOOY) in 2007, which is now stocked in three indies in Essex.
In 2007, we launched our first catwalk show in collaboration with In Magazine, which was held at Faces nightclub in Gants Hill. We continued to hold the annual show at Faces until 2010, when it appeared in ITV show The Only Way Is Essex. We had six days to put the show on and, although it was on a Monday, it was completely sold out with an audience of 700 people. This year, we decided to make it even bigger and move to the marquee venue [at Fairlop Waters Golf Club, Ilford] and make it a three-day event.
What did appearing in The Only Way Is Essex do for you?
Simon Ryan (left in main picture) The show helped build our profiles and the profile of our business. It was good that we were seen as businessmen in the show - it has allowed us to be part of it, but still be taken seriously in the industry.
What are your ambitions for the OOOY brand and for Essex Fashion Week?
AR Being twins, we were always dressed the same as children and were fed up of never being seen as individuals. Currently, each OOOY piece that is made is a one-off. As the brand grows, this may need to become limited collections rather than one-off pieces, but the message is still the same - to stand out and look good in a crowd. We are currently designing a new range [of OOOY], which we are hopefully going to collaborate with New Look on to be stocked in its stores. We are also in talks to mass-produce some T- shirt designs and have just signed a deal to take Essex Fashion Week around the country and overseas to places such
How would you describe the Essex menswear look?
AR Currently for men you see a lot of JLS-esque V-neck T-shirts teamed with coloured chinos, boat shoes and beaded jewellery. The cravat scarf is a winner, mixed with fitted tailoring, and the winklepicker patent shoe is an Essex favourite.
Where do you like to shop?
AR I love Brick Lane and Camden markets. And I really admire Alexander McQueen (pictured) and Alexander Wang.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
SR I’ve just got back from Tanzania, where I was doing charity work for Childreach International. The country is remarkable and left me speechless.
Whose style do you admire? Who inspires you?
AR I really admire how André 3000, Pharrell Williams and David Beckham have a certain swagger about them.
Where do you socialise?
AR Even though we work so hard, we play hard. We’ve just opened a Club in Loughton called LuXe Essex.
Adam and Simon Ryan are the founders of Essex Fashion Week and contemporary menswear brand OOOY