Ross Geddes, founder of Finnieston Clothing and SSEAMS Editor, Diane Richardson have known each other since the infancy of the brand. Both based in Scotland, Diane caught up with Ross and asked him to tell our readers, in his words, more about the brand…
Tell us about the brand story of Finnieston Clothing?
Finnieston Clothing is a modern heritage menswear brand based in Glasgow, Scotland. We offer functional lifestyle garments of the highest quality, at the forefront utilitarian outerwear that’s built to work. Our vision for Finnieston Clothing was to offer our customer better value for their hard earned cash, bringing back good old fashioned retail values of good service and quality without compromise. With this in mind bricks and mortar was always on the horizon for Finnieston Clothing. We wanted to lead by example and get away from where modern retail has moved to. The industry as a whole has had to undergo significant change where sustainability is concerned and one of our key missions was to support as many UK manufacturers as we could in creating our collections.
Glasgow has a rich industrial heritage and we’ve taken great inspiration from Clyde’s shipbuilding heyday to create our workwear derived range. Whilst utilising our collections in telling the story of Glasgow’s past, another one of our missions was to champion local brands, and now we have our Concept Store this element of the business is really beginning to take flight, which we are delighted about! Built on these foundations, and coming through 2020 we are excited about what the future holds for Finnieston Clothing.
Although 2020 was hugely challenging, what were your highlights?
The main highlight was finally getting our store opened at the end of the year, which was a real game changing moment from the brand. We were only open for 12 days before we were forced to close after Christmas, during those 12 days we really saw what the brand potential is with a huge lift in outerwear sales and insight into the local support we had. Other than the positive reaction to the brand’s new direction, the shipbuilding industry holds a lot of emotion in Glasgow so it was very important for us to build a collection and that represents it in the right way. Our best selling pieces have been the tees with the shipping company logos. We are finally back open and this week has shown our outerwear sales doing incredibly well and we have our loyal customers to thank for their patience and support during the pandemic.
The FCL (Finnieston Clothing Ltd) audience is growing, what are they enjoying most about the brand?
Although our main play is in Outerwear, our graphic t-shirts and sweats are selling extremely well. Our repeat custom online is above average which is really encouraging to see. This is mostly t-shirts, sweatshirts and accessories. People love the local angle of the brand, many can associate with it as past family members actually worked in the shipyards. What also works is our efforts going into locally sourced and manufactured accessories. Made in Scotland represents high quality and we can also see an interest in purchasing natural yarns/fabrics.
Ross, what’s your favourite product in the collection right now?
Our Canadian coat is probably my favourite item from the apparel collection. So far, it’s been our best selling jacket online and in-store. Both men and women are buying that coat which is great to see! The dry wax fabric outer shell by Dundee based Halley Stevensons is the perfect fabric and colour to carry the shawl collar coat design. In terms of our accessories line, the war-time inspired dazzle print scarves produced by MacNaughtons here in Scotland have sold incredibly well. Accessories as a whole are a great way to build our brand awareness with our growing audience.
The 2021 collection direction is Modern Heritage, explain what this means for the brand and what’s coming soon?
The aim with our 2021 collection is to grow the line, develop strong silhouettes and introduce new product categories currently being developed by our design team, including shirting and pants. Everyday-wear and technical apparel styles grounded in our ethos around modern heritage and durability produced in a sustainable way. From a sustainability perspective, we are doing everything we can with our next collection and will build on this for seasons to come. That is a given for us now.
From a digital perspective, what’s the best way to stay informed with the brand?
Social Media is the best way to stay informed on the brand. Periodically we delve a little deeper with our Journal, and we’ve had some great press coverage in 2020, but for the day to day running of the brand, product launches and behind the scenes info, Instagram and Facebook are the places to find us. The beauty of being such a small team means that if you need to get in touch with us about absolutely anything we are just a comment, direct message or email away! We’re on hand pretty much 24-7 and if you’re not on social media, don’t worry – you can sign up to our newsletter for all the latest brand news at finniestonclothing.com and shop the line there too unless you fancy a wander into the FCL Concept store in Glasgow’s west end.
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