My newest and most crisply structured brand is Always Wear Red.
I thought AWR started on Valentine’s Day 2016.
But I am mistaken.
Always Wear Red actually started about 35 years ago.
When I was 15.
Claire lived up the road from me on Windermere Crescent.
She was no older than my 15 years.
Yet somehow, she was a young woman.
And I was a boy.
We walked to school together.
Each day I’d get ready in my blend-in school uniform and peer up the street for her.
She’d smile as I joined her to walk at her side.
I knew exactly when she’d walk down the street.
Claire was easy to be with.
And I loved listening to her.
She told me stories about me.
The me I wanted to become.
In the future.
In my head.
Claire’s boyfriends were very often older than Claire.
She told me tales of fumbling in cars.
Tales about sneaking off.
Tales about what happened when they got caught.
And (much more interesting) tales about what happened when they didn’t get caught.
As I was approaching 16, I decided that I should be Claire’s boyfriend.
And a big part of my plan to make this happen was for Claire to see me not in my school uniform.
But in my special tee-shirt.
I had bought this t-shirt from ‘town.’
On one of the occasions I’d been there mum-free.
With my mates.
You see, upon wearing this special t-shirt it clearly made me infinitely more fanciable.
So I’d get my mum to iron it for when I thought Claire might be walking down Windermere Crescent on a weekend.
Or in the school holidays.
So I could accidentally bump into her.
I felt different with Claire when I was wearing my special tee-shirt.
I felt like I could actually be Claire’s boyfriend.
Always Wear Red.
Always Wear Red started when I was 15 years old.
When my special tee-shirt turned me into James Bond.
When my special tee-shirt made me feel that I could do anything.
The feeling was real.
The feeling that, when you wear something so, so special – you’re unstoppable.
And I thought about this feeling in 2015.
I thought to myself:
…imagine a clothing brand born to make us feel amazing.
That created confidence for us.
Now that would be something.
And Always Wear Red was born.