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Brandwatch: I Love Ugly

The New Zealand brand proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, writes Graeme Moran.

THE BASICS

Wholesale prices £14 to £70

Website www.iloveugly.net

Telephone 01637 879530

Ask menswear buyers in the know what brand they are currently keeping an eye on and those willing to give away their secret will tell you three words: I Love Ugly.

Concentrating on menswear classics, design quirks and a sense of eccentric humour makes each of the young fashion brand’s pieces interesting and unique. “We focus on giving our customers products that can improve their lives without damaging their wallet too badly,” says Valentin Ozich, the brand’s creative director and founder.

Standout pieces include slim tapered chinos, a perfect smart-casual 2sb blazer, fun matching shirts and shorts twin sets, selvedge denim, embroidered patterns and printed five-panel caps.

The brand doesn’t follow the traditional two-season cycle, meaning new product revitalises the offer with 11 drops a year. “We like to keep our offer fresh and updated. We do this because it keeps our customers engaged but it keeps our jobs interesting too,” says Ozich.

For many brands, monthly injections mean chasing trends and keeping up with other labels, but not at I Love Ugly. Each mini collection moves in a fresh direction, adding categories including footwear and accessories. “The way we release product every month gives us the opportunity to think of new ideas off the cuff and get them out there quickly, which does have its benefits,” says Ozich.

Although prone to selling out of new product instantly, the brand’s somewhat ‘limited edition’ reputation is just an accident, Ozich insists. “We just produce how much we feel we need, and up to now more people have wanted our products than we’ve produced,” he says. “Some products we design, we make once and we never make again - we don’t call them limited edition but I suppose in some ways they are.”

With a wholesale push here in the UK and plans to open standalone stores on these shores, being Ugly has never looked better.

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