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The dynamic duo behind street-savvy label Represent

13 Sep 2017

There's no fashion like British street-fashion. From Katharine Hamnett to Jeremy Scott, its edge, its style and its attitude inspire cult-like followings. And thanks to George and Mike Heaton, the brothers behind Represent, the buzz is coming from the north of England this time. We talked to George about what makes Manchester-based Represent such a stand-up standout, and learned how family is their driving force. 

What is it like being brothers and collaborating?

We’ve got the same taste, so we both know what’s working and what’s not working at equal points. Everything is either “yes” or “no” by both of us. Put it this way, there’s never one of us shouting, “Yeah let’s do that!” whilst the other has his hands on his head. 

Do you wear your own clothes?

90 percent of my (pretty small) wardrobe is Represent. I keep my outfits simple…mostly essentials, black tees, black hoodies, black denim for when I'm working at the HQ. I like to add in a few luxury products, usually accessories or things we haven't done in Represent yet – simply because of that reason...we haven't done it yet!

My favourite piece from the Simons collaborative collection is the fur half-zip hoodie. It takes up a lot of space in my wardrobe, but it's the one thing that's going to be with me everywhere I go in winter.

How did designing for Canada mix with your aesthetic?

We turned the usual colour palettes to deep red and purple, weighting out fabrications and outerwear fills to accommodate the Canadian winter. We then headed to high ground to put them Pantones to use against the snowy and mountainous landscapes.

Step into the world of Represent

Tell us about your influences...

Everything around us, whatever we see has an influence on what we’re creating. I could see a jacket on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills with a cool fastening system on the collar. On the other hand, watching an old Oasis documentary, I’ll see some painting on a wall that graphically would work with that colour we’re running.

There’s always the music culture, mixing British rock ‘n roll with the current trap and rap scene. I feel we pull the two together when developing collections. And we put our British heritage in everything we do, the use of the Union Jack, victorious scenes – and actual British production.

 

What does it mean to be "British Made?”

It is everything to us. We’re born here, raised here, we design here, sample here, produce everything possible here. It’s a statement of Represent. That whole Rolls Royce feel…. You know it’s British, you know it’s the best it possibly can be.
 

Who is your hero?

Grandad.

 


What does success look like to you?

Success isn't a look, I think success is the freedom of being able to do whatever you want, wherever you want, with whoever you want. For me – it's taking my family and friends on this journey and constantly being able to have that freedom.

The best advice you've ever been given? And the worst?
    
     
The best advice I ever had was from my dad, telling me to save and build. I never spent a penny on anything that wasn’t stock or shipping during the first couple of years starting Represent. Everything was so organic and without investment or shareholders to help us along the way, this was the only platform I had. We worked out of a shed for two years – literally filling that, dad’s garage and his house with stock. I took every day’s orders to the post office to save on that little extra delivery charge. We would pack orders in the mornings, handle suppliers and deliveries in the afternoon, then create at night. Every single day.

The worst advice... be satisfied.

Off the cuff

The last time I lost my temper was…  Yesterday    because...  Shoes were laced wrong.
I’ve started this a thousand times… Instagram captions.
The moment we're proudest of... That Dusk Boot release night.
We wish we had more time to... Create. 
Chill time is... Very rare.
I never... Sleep past 7am.
If I could own one thing it would be.... A Gulfstream G550 Private Jet for the fabric shows, manufacturing trips. We’re in Italy so often it would be so dope to have that luxury.
It's never too late to... Go out and get what you want.
The one city you have to visit is... Manchester, of course.
Who is the greatest rapper alive?  Machine Gun Kelly.
What's your guilty pleasure? Listening to Slipknot when in the gym.
Art vs design – Art can be anything, design has to work, so: Design.
Style vs fashion – Style.