When Tom Cridland arrives at Moda Gent next month, it will be via a somewhat circuitous route. Not content with having turned a £6k start-up loan into a £2m fashion brand within three years, the entrepreneur in sustainable menswear has personally driven all over the States to spread the Tom Cridland word.
“In the wake of Brexit, I knew that it was essential that my British sustainable fashion brand secured more customers in the US,” says the founder of eponymous label Tom Cridland. “Together with my girlfriend and business partner Debs Marx, I rented a car in Boston and proceeded the whole way to Los Angeles within a month, via New York, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Houston, Austin, Dallas, Alberquerque and Las Vegas, with the aim of spreading the word about the 30 year collection.”
As with everything Tom Cridland touches, the trip turned into metaphoric marketing gold. “Television interviews on CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC ensued, as the American public sought to discover more about the British guy touring the nation, and a brand that is made to such high standards that its designers back each piece with a 30 year guarantee.
Now back in the UK, the trip has reaped more than some marketing-friendly hype. Tom Cridland now generates around 50 per cent of its sales from the US, and the brand is still in its infancy.
As well as debuting as an exhibitor at this season’s Moda Gent, Tom Cridland himself will deliver a seminar about his journey, and the secrets to building a global label with so little resource. Catch him in the Hall 18 catwalk theatre at 11am on Tuesday 8 August.