ANUVA LONDON has only been in business for six months, but already it’s scoring customers in high places.
The clothing label, launched by footballers Matt Taylor and Ellis Harrison alongside marketeer Tom Roberts, was recently championed by fashion bible GQ.
Now, it’ll be worn by 2017 The X Factor winners Rak-Su on their upcoming tour with Olly Murs.
Available only online, ANUVA London produce luxury streetwear at competitive prices.
SunSport spoke with Taylor and Roberts to find out why they decided to get into fashion.
Roberts begins: “Matt and I have been close for years, and we used to see lots of people in tracksuits and thought we could do something different.
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“It boiled down to Matt saying to me, ‘Why don’t we just set up a fashion label of our own?’”
Taylor adds: “We started talking about doing it and it got us really excited.
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“We then jotted a few ideas down, and the more we spoke about it the more we thought it had to become a reality.
“Day-to-day I’m either going to training or walking the dog or taking the kids to the park, so I’m in tracksuits or loungewear most of the time.
“So that was a big influence on what I was looking for from a fashion-sense.”
Footballers including Gabby Agbonlahor, John Terry and Christian Fuchs have all delved into the world of fashion.
Some of their clobber is higher-priced than others. Roberts admitted they made a conscious decision in making ANUVA London affordable for all.
He says: “We want to make sure that our product is of the highest quality.
“But also, from a price perspective, we knew we had to undercut the market to start off with.
“We’re not interested in making masses of money straight away, because that’s not something that’s organically going to happen.
“We understand it’s a longer process, and if the quality of the product is there we’ll get returning customers.
Ideas for the three-man start-up normally flow through a WhatsApp group that links the founders together.
“When one of us has an idea, we’re quick to jump into the group and message each other what we’ve seen.” Roberts tells us.
“We bounce ideas off each other really,” Taylor interjects.
“Sometimes it comes out fine to begin with and sometimes it can take three or four different variations, but ultimately we get there in the end and achieve something we’re all happy with.”
Taylor, Harrison and Roberts are aiming to build a brand that can be universally worn by all… even your mum!
Roberts says: “We trying to build a brand that anyone can wear – your mum, your sister, your auntie, your streetwear influencer can wear it, your Love Island influencer can wear it…
“We’re not targeting one specific market. What I’ve found is that every single person that buys the product is different.”
Taylor adds: “Fashion is changing all the time, so it would be wrong to look at a target audience.
“One week something could be cool, then the next it might not be. We’re looking for more longevity than something that’ll be a flash in the pan.”
Taylor revealed that his Bristol City teammates are clamoring to wear Anuva London clothing.
He laughs: “They’ve been asking for freebies! But we’ve been doing that with the right people and if we do that we need some feedback online on Instagram.”
“The majority of people that are looking at clothing online now is through social media,” Roberts continues.
“Most of our traffic comes through our content we do on Instagram. It’s our main portal and area to keep up to date with customers and get feedback.
“With an Instagram page, you’re that much closer to a consumer so it’s a great communication tool.”
Celebrity endorsements are key to any brands’ success – and ANUVA London are backed by pop group, Rak-Su.
The X Factor victors will be wearing ANUVA London’s line as they tour the country with The Voice star Olly Murs.
“The guys from Rak-Su have been brilliant by supporting us,” Roberts says.
“We sent them free stuff, but that was because we had a mutual respect from a brand perspective of them.
“We approached them, they loved the brand and they then told us they’d like to work with us a little bit more.
“When you find that person, whoever it might be, and they’ve got an excitement for the brand, you know they’re the right person to work with.”
Roberts and Taylor are both optimistic about the future of ANUVA London and hope one day you may see it on a catwalk at London Fashion Week.
“That’s the plan,” Roberts tells us.
“Whatever the brand has to do to have longevity is the way we’ll take it.
“But ultimately our aim is to push the brand to a more luxury element. One day you might see us on the catwalk, which is where every fashion label wants to go.
“At the moment, we’re just six months in, we’re not trying to compete with anyone, we’re doing our own thing and seeing what’ll happen.”