Yorkshire Business - Aj Swinbank of Wear Eagles Dare in Leyburn

PUBLISHED: 17:13 08 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:28 20 February 2013

An example of the Wear Eagles Dare collection, designed by Aj Swinbank

An example of the Wear Eagles Dare collection, designed by Aj Swinbank

Manchester United and England footballer Danny Welbeck has been spotted in his clothes, as has jockey Frankie Dettori and stars of reality TV shows The Only Way Is Essex and Made In Chelsea.

His fashions might be getting the sort of exposure usually reserved for much more established brands, but Wear Eagles Dare, the creation of Aj Swinbank of Leyburn had very humble beginnings.

At just 16, he bought end-of-line Vilebrequin swimming trunks from a local shop and sold them on at a healthy profit to pay for a summer holiday.

Manchester United and England footballer Danny Welbeck has been spotted in his clothes, as has jockey Frankie Dettori and stars of reality TV shows The Only Way Is Essex and Made In Chelsea.

Aj worked his way through university as a nightclub promoter, but was determined to work for no one but himself on graduation.

I wanted to create a brand that would last in an industry that had a lot of scope, so I could take it wherever I wanted and would have a lot of freedom, he said. I thought a new clothing company was the way to go.

Wear Eagles Dare was created in 2010 with a very distinctive vibe. The idea I had was to showcase to young people that anything can be done, even in a time of economic turmoil. Its about embracing ambition.
Aj designed the first collection himself and flew to Turkey to find a factory that was up to the job.

Ive always looked on the positive side, if you think positive only good can happen, he said. If you dont think you can do it, you never will.
Attention to detail is his trademark. Its difficult to portray ambition through clothing. But we do it through the quality, the little finishes, the quotes on the tops and inside the tops.

So how did he get all those famous faces to sport his clothes? I got in touch with some of them through Twitter. I saw The Risk on X-Factor and sent the lead singer some clothes the next day. Luckily he managed to get on the live shows and wore them on the first two episodes.

He was delighted when Danny Welbeck came on board. Hes a young guy achieving his dreams, so hes perfect.

Such marketing flair has caught the imagination of the wider business world. He saw off competition from hundreds of rivals to win the North East Local Business Accelerators competition. The prize package includes a business mentor, free advertising and a six-month rent-free tenancy.

So whats next? It the next two or three years Id like to be in a number of the top department stores in the UK and potentially exporting as well.



The print version of this article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Yorkshire Life

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