The founder of Weekend Offender tells Graeme Moran he’s enjoying being a Brit abroad with the men’s casualwear brand.
How was your recent experience of showing at Bread & Butter? Where else will you exhibit?
Spring 14 was our first showing in Berlin and it was a little quiet, but overall the show was successful as we started talks with one distributor and opened doors in various European countries. It was also nice to see some of our English accounts including USC, Scotts and Footasylum in a different environment. Autumn 13 was our first foray into the US, so we’ll exhibit at Capsule in New York and Las Vegas [for spring 14].
Are trade shows still important?
Definitely. It’s the only way we could possibly get the collections in front of so many people at once. We have plans to exhibit at Bread & Butter for the foreseeable future.
What’s new for spring 14 from Weekend Offender?
We’ve stayed true to our roots with staples but have experimented with all-over prints, embroideries and textures to make the range more exciting and visually appealing. We’re trying to make the collections [the mainline wholesales from about £11 for a T-shirt to about £67 for a jacket] accessible to more people and, judging by the reaction, this seems to be working . Buyers are buying into the new designs as well as the classic pieces.
How is your flagship store on D’Arblay Street in Soho, London, working out?
We opened the store in November 2011, primarily as a marketing initiative to raise the profile of the brand. Trade in the early months was slow but sales have picked up recently as we’ve become more known in the area.
What are the differences between the mainline and your Category A collection?
We added our Category A line one year ago with the prime objective of opening out our distribution. This collection is aimed at a slightly older customer and is less branded. More attention is paid to the fabrics. [Wholesale prices range from around £13 for a T-shirt to about £67 for a jacket]
What’s next for the brand?
Until now we’ve not actively been looking for overseas business - the stockists we have in the US, Russia and Spain approached us. Our next big project is to open up the business worldwide. We’ve also been working on a footwear range that will arrive in spring 14 and will deliver our new denim line in the next couple of weeks.
What’s the most treasured item in your wardrobe?
Probably my CP Company hemp Explorer jacket I bought in Milan when Wales played a football match against Italy in 2003.
What menswear trends do you wish would disappear?
There’s many, but I hate those scoop-neck T-shirts with a passion.
Are you a weekend offender?
I’m more of a weekend pretender nowadays, since the birth of my first child five months ago.
If you weren’t working in fashion, what would you be doing?
Probably 20 years in a South American prison.