August 2020


Always Wear Red is relaunching in September 2020.

So in the coming weeks.

I’m going to post bits about Always Wear Red in the 50odd world.

So you can see how I’m telling the Always Wear Red story.

Here’s a short tale called ‘Hidden’.

It’s about the AWR photography brief I set.

And the strangeness that.

For a brand where just one piece of clothing can cost over £1000.

I didn’t want photography that showed all of the product clearly.


When Kelly and Caroline led the photography.

In their studio in Ouseburn in Newcastle.

I said I didn’t want to see all of the pieces in the images.

I said it wasn’t really about how the pieces looked.

I said it was more about how the pieces made you feel.


So a lot of the product detail.

Especially in the ambient photography at the new website.

Is hidden.

So whoever looks at the image.

Has to fill the gaps themselves.

Imagining what it’d feel like on them.

Imagining what it’d look like on them.

Because everything looks different depending who’s wearing it anyway.

Always Wear Red.

Always Wear Red pieces become yours.

They change with you.

Like really good jeans do.

They wear in.

Not out.

And that’s why I said it wasn’t really bothered about showing exactly how the pieces looked.

I said it was more about how the pieces made you feel.

So the photographs.

Especially the darker ones.

They hide the detail.

And I like that.

I like how imagination is part of the process.

A little thought popped into my head this week.

And that thought was.

That there are some things you can only ever do once.

Gone Fishing.

I was watching Gone Fishing with Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer.

(I wasn’t actually watching Gone Fishing with Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer. 

I mean. 

Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer weren’t sat next to me on the settee when Gone Fishing was on. 

But they were in Gone Fishing.



Paul Whitehouse mentioned he was going to pop his dad’s ashes into a river.

And I thought.


Paul will only do that once.

So I hope it’s special for him.

I hope he does it in a way that’s memorable.

For him.

And in a way that is lovely.

And personal.

And as perfect as possible.

A Second Thought.


I had a second thought.

I thought about other things that you can only ever do once.

And I came to a conclusion.

I summarised all of the things that you can only ever do once.

Under one.



And that heading was:



Everything you ever do.

You will only ever do once.

The lunch that you make or made today.


The ‘hello’ and the smile you give (or don’t give) to the person you meet in the street today.


The walk you give your dog today.





And what did this realisation change in me?


Once I’d processed the thought.

It changed everything.

Because if I really do accept that every singe thing that I ever do.

I will only ever do once.

Then that makes me think that every single thing that I ever do deserves to be done as well as it possibly can be.

Every single time.

That’s seismic change.


Everything you ever do.

And everything I ever do.

Will only ever be done once.

I run a clothing brand.

Called Always Wear Red.

Always Wear Red is relaunching in September 2020.

With a new focus.

So in the coming weeks.

I’m going to post bits about it in the 50odd world.

So you can see how I’m telling the Always Wear Red story.

Here’s a short tale called ‘Unreasonable’.


World class hand knitting.

I was told.

Is about balance.

But I have my own ideas.

I think it’s about being unreasonable.


Durability or softness.

Colour or texture.

Weight or wearability.

It was my naivety.

Especially in the early days.

That was a real advantage with this either-or tension.

Because I didn’t want trade-offs.

I wanted everything.

That’s why I was unreasonable.


I asked Jo for unreasonable things.

Conflicting things.

(Jo laughed of course.

I’d expect nothing less from my Technical Knitting Lead.

Until she saw I was serious.

Then she just shook her head).

And it is my unreasonableness.

And Jo’s patience that.

At least in part.

Has made Always Wear Red world class.

World class.

World class hand knitting.

I was told.

Is about balance.

But I have my own ideas.

I think it’s about being unreasonable.

I’m moving house.

My current solicitor went silent for 3 weeks.

And when I contacted 7 more.

(Because I was fed up with the incumbent).

I was met with a sea of answer machines.



If you’re a solicitor.

Or if you know a solicitor.

Ask them to take a look at my Linkedin Link further down.

And the 70+ comments.

It will give them an insight into what (I think) their customers actually want.

Here’s what I posted on Linkedin:


This isn’t grumpiness.

It is a genuine request.

Can anybody recommend a North East based solicitor to help me with the sale of one property, and purchase of another?

A solicitor that:

1. Answers calls during office hours. No answer machines (which may or may not be full).

2. Does not say ‘press 1 for conveyancing’ – then just rings.

3. Invites me to speak to a warm human. To build rapport with. Instead of saying, ‘Do you wanna quote?’

4. Does not go silent when I say I just want someone to make me feel like I matter. Someone I sense will be on my side and at my side throughout. And that cares about my interests as much as I do.

5. Will listen and record what I’d like, rather than saying, ’email us – or just fill the form in – first’.

6. Makes me feel that decisions are for my benefit, not theirs.

7. Once appointed, helps me understand what happens when. And exactly what stage we’re at right now.

8. Once appointed, calls when they say they will – or before. And not say, ‘I forgot. I was busy with other clients’.

And yes.

I have experienced all this and more from Newcastle-based solicitors, today.


If you can recommend anyone, please email or please comment below.

Thank you.


#Newcastle #Solicitors #conveyancing

And that was that.

Here’s the original post, likes and comments:

Don’t be sad about getting old.

Because there is something far sadder.

And that’s not getting old.


Think about this.

As you listen to the song below in just a moment.

“Grow Old with Me” is one of the final songs written by John Lennon.

It was written by John.

For Yoko.

And recorded as a demo.

With Yoko.

Whilst John and Yoko were in Bermuda.

In the summer of 1980.

Then think about this.

John Lennon was shot dead by Mark Chapman on the 8th of December.

In the winter of 1980.

Grow Old With Me.

Here are John and Yoko singing “Grow Old With Me”.



As you may know.

I run a clothing brand.

Called Always Wear Red.

Always Wear Red is relaunching in September 2020.

With a new focus.

So in the coming weeks.

I’m going to post bits about it in the 50odd world.

So you can see how I’m telling the Always Wear Red story.


Here’s a preview of the new website.

That’s going live in a few days.

Always Wear Red.

“I searched. For years.
And I still couldn’t fathom who made the best hand knits in the world.
So eventually, I thought – fuck it – it may as well be me.”

It began on Valentine’s Day 2015.

In a bar.

In Newcastle.

Most days back then, I’d be imagining the clothing brand I wanted to create.

That day was no different.

A man skipped by the bar window carrying a bright red umbrella.

It caught my eye.

It caught everybody’s eye.

And the heads in the bar.

On that grey February afternoon.

They turned as one.


Red does that.

It gets you noticed.

And a year later to the day.

On Valentine’s day 2016.

Always Wear Red was born.

World Class. World Kind. Hand Knits.

I’ve been a creative all my life.

I built on this by spending 4 years designing with, and learning from, the UK’s best knitters, silk weavers, fabric weavers, leather makers, cap makers and tie makers.

Using only the world’s best materials.

Everything I created was world class.

But in the background, hand knits became my obsession.

So in 2020 I focussed.

Everything apart from the hand knitting projects became Limited Edition.

Never to be made again.

I archived everything in The Early Years Sale.

And dedicated the entire Always Wear Red business to hand knits.

“I’ve always loved big jumpers.
I’d wear them more.
And longer.

I had a Starsky cardigan as a boy.
It felt amazing.

I wanted that again.
Hand knits that hug you.
So you can escape the world.
To your world.
But this time.
I wanted jumpers made by the very best.
Made with the very best of everything.”

Wear it. Share it. Repair it.

The world doesn’t need another clothing brand.

70% of the world’s clothing is burnt or buried within 3 years.
30% of all clothing made is never marketed.
And only around 10% of the clothing we buy is worn regularly.

So Always Wear Red is changing the way people buy clothing.

Always Wear Red is for people that no longer want to be part of the problem.

Wear it. We’re in the 10% of your clothes you actually choose to wear.
Share it. We’re our own, unique gender neutral shape.
Repair it. We want you to love us more as we wear in – not out.

And as we mostly make to order.

Waste is zero.

“We’re not fashion.
We’re too slow for fashion.
We’re classic and simple instead.”

Maybe we’ll inspire more people to take more downtime.
Your permission to pause.
I hope so.”

Mychael Owen
Co-founder, Always Wear Red

I could tell you everything I know about writing.

Everything I’ve learned about writing.

In this last two years of writing 50odd every single day.

And I could tell you everything I feel when I’m writing.

And you still wouldn’t write like me.

Me and You.

That’s not because I am better at writing than you necessarily.

You’re probably better than me.

It is because I am different to you.

I’m me.

And you’re you.


So if you want to write.


You can search my 50odd blog for the odd thing I’ve scribbled about how I write, I suppose.

This for example:

And it might help you.

But what a shame it would be if you didn’t write.

When you have so much to say.

1000 Months. 

1000 months.

That’s all you get.

Then you’re gone.

So if you think people like me.

Will get something.


From reading about people like you.


If for no other reason than you might help someone to tell their story.

Like I’m encouraging you to tell yours.

We storytellers have to stick together, don’t you know.

Let me know when you get cracking.

There is a simple formula for ‘connection’.

For brand connection, I mean.

(I say formula.

That’s probably not quite right.

Because I don’t think this works every time.

For everybody.

But as no one brand is for every consumer.

No one formula is for every brand.

So on I go).

But there is a definite ‘approach’ to take for greater connection for brands.

A framework.

And here it is.

Humour + Clarity = Connection.


I’ve borrowed this approach from Bill Bernbach.

Specifically, from this reference:

Connect emotionally with your customers.

Bernbach said this was key to selling.

And used both humour and clarity to accomplish this.

Bill Bernbach is the most influential advertising man ever.

The master of so many things in the area of business and brand communication.

And no area more significant than that of persuasion.

And connection.

Humour + Clarity = Connection.

Give it a go.

People like funny people.

It relaxes them.

It’s engaging.



It connects people.

And people like people that are clear too.

Jargon and self-aggrandising bullshit only serves to embarrass or confuse.

So I do see how this works.


And the learning point for businesses and brands?


Keep things simple.

Calm the fuck down.

Be funny.

Be you.

And drop the long words.

Just say what you want us consumers to do, OK?

And if your jokes are funny enough.

Well you never know.

We might just do it.

I may spend an hour or more writing just one 50odd story.

A story devoured by the reader in 30 seconds.

But I want it to be right.


And even more extreme.

I suppose.

Is when I write for clients.

Because I blend the best of their brand.

With that which is most magnetic for the target.

Presented then so the words I create are seen as their words.

Not my words.

And in such a way that the target finds them irresistible.

And that takes me time.


An hour on one sentences is not unusual.

As I focus.

And concentrate.

And all that effort can feel disproportionate to me.

Unfair, even.

Until I compare what I do to what Mari Samuelsen does, of course.


I craft words with precision.

Whether I write for me.

Or you.

But I have the luxury of the zig.

And the zag.

And the pause.

And the reread.

Mari does not.

Mari has to get everything right first time.

World Class.

So the next time you feel frustrated or tired.

Because of the demands that the desire to be truly World Class put on you.

Watch this.

And imagine for a second.

That you applied as much focus on being truly World Class in your world.

As Mari does in hers.

And then.

If you’re anything like me.

Go back and start again.


Beware perfect.

It all sounds very nice.

But I imagine it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

I’m quite bored just thinking about it, as it goes.


Perfect is not interesting.

It’s too predictable.

And where the hell do you go from there?

I prefer clumsy.




And layered.

I really can’t be arsed with complete orderliness.

Knowing everything.

Being prepared for everything.

Formulaic and optimised cycles.

All that surety is a bit too dull for me.

And as I’ve got older.

I really do enjoy the thrill of ‘getting there’.

More than I would the placidity of ‘being there’.


So beware perfect.

It all sounds very nice.

But I imagine it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

I’m quite bored just thinking about it, as it goes.