January 1, 2016
GB Labels Helps Football Fashion Brand With Woven Labels
By: Lynsey Bowen
Paul McGregor is an ex-footballer with a keen interest in music and fashion. Following his retirement from professional football he had an idea which, with his business partner Shaun Barker, he is well on the way to making a reality.
Paul has been around the music and fashion world for much of his life and upon leaving professional football, noticed that club shops where filled with unfashionable clothing items which had a lazy design, normally the clubs logo, printed on average-quality products.
‘We feel that there is no need to sacrifice quality and style whilst you’re supporting your club. Simple.’ explains Paul as we discuss his new business venture. ‘I’d started getting invited back to games and clubs that I’ve played for and it just dawned on me that club shops don’t provide what you see on the terraces and I felt that there was a place for them to do that. Club shops offer what they offer and there’s a market for it, I’m not knocking it. I just think they can do more. We’re a really exciting bolt on for them and I feel we can grow a great brand from that foundation.’
Paul thought there was a gap in the market for club-focused, heritage-inspired, stylish fashion items which bridged the gap between football merchandise and trendy, fashionable apparel which could be warn socially as well as in the terraces.
He took this idea to his childhood friend, Shaun, and together they have created the clothing brand ‘WITH THE GODS’. As Shaun was the Derby County FC Captain at the time, they worked with the club to trial a range of fashion-focused T-shirts designed to specifically target Derby County fans who wanted to show their support for their club but also wanted to remain on-trend.
‘Mandy Hollis at Derby County has been fantastic with us, helping to trial and bring our products to market’ explains Paul with enthusiasm.
Both Paul and Shaun were keen to keep the focus of their brand on stylish design and high quality as these are the two elements they felt were missing from club shops. ‘Quality of garment and quality of design are our staples and they are the things we will never compromise.’’ explains Paul as he talks me through the inspiration behind his idea.
The designs for each clubs range will be worked on as a collaboration between Paul, Shaun and the design agency ‘The Bleach Room’ based in Hackney, London. Each clubs design theme will be a single element that best represents each club. This theme is then used to create a number of modern, stylish and fashionable designs which bridge the gap between the club-association and high-end fashion designs.
When it came to manufacturing and producing the finished prototypes, Paul and Shaun wanted to look locally for the different elements needed. They worked with a Derby-based printer who has experience in screen-printing to create the best quality designs possible. Paul and Shaun are very passionate about the designs they create for each club and wanted to work with a screen print company who could do those designs justice. This is why they chose Darkside Screen Prints.
Paul has nothing but praise for twins, Chris and Nick from Darkside ‘I’ve just about got a grip on which one’s Chris and which one’s Nick now but either way they both couldn’t have been more helpful, knowledgeable or professional. Such great company that it barely feels like work to be around them but goodness, they know their stuff. Top boys!”
In the same vain, when it came to branding and labelling their new clothing line, Paul and Shaun looked no further than GB Labels based at Friar Gate Studios, Derby. GB Labels have more than 50 years’ experience in branding and labelling. They also manufacture their woven labels in the UK, making them the obvious choice to work with when it came to branding and labelling their T-shirts.
‘Lovely guys, who not only make great labels but are always willing to go that extra step providing help and business knowledge which we found invaluable when starting our business. Can’t praise them enough.’
The trial at Derby County has been so successful, there are a number of Premiership and Championship clubs queuing up for the WITH THE GODS brand to appear in their club shops. But it doesn’t stop there, there are plans afoot to create a whole range of fashion-wear with modern club-focused designs so watch this space because ‘WITH THE GODS’ is coming to a club shop near you soon.