It’s autumn 2012 and I get a call from my good mate Phil about his new fashion agency. After a good old natter about how Phil was getting on in his new venture he mentions to me one of the brands he’s representing, Abandon Ship Apparel. Phil’s seen the brand on one his trips to a trade show and met Abandon Ship’s founders Rich & Dunc.
Phil pitched ASA to me as a new street wear brand based on slightly looser/extended-fit. If I’m honest I was pretty happy with the brand mix I had already but I also like to get out of Room 14 once in a while a to check out product that’s new to the market. I agreed to meet Phil at his showroom in a couple of weeks time. What happened in the following two weeks was bizarre. Every time either Caroline or me looked on a fashion blog or went on Instagram or Twitter, there it was, another musician, dj or actor wearing the now famous Abandon Ship Cross Tee. It was from that moment on we knew that Abandon Ship was really going somewhere……
From our first delivery around Christmas of 2012, ASA just flew out of the door. After 9 years of owning Room 14 we’ve seen quite a few brands start like a house on fire and fizzle out a season or two later but Abandon Ship has bucked that trend (No pun intended).
The designs were current and fresh plus the brand started to introduce a new type of customer to our business. Our guys have always been savvy and in to their product but Abandon Ship took things in a different direction. The emergence of streetwear was becoming more prevalent and our guys were starting to take notice and buy in to the look. Before we knew it the “Room 14” guy was rolling the cuffs of the sleeves of his t-shirt and teaming a slightly over-sized tee with some skinny jeans and wearing either running trainers or a fresh pair of Converse / Superga’s. Without doubt streetwear was taking us to a different level, we had something different that other retailers around simply weren’t offering.
Nearly 18 months on Abandon Ship has established itself as one of our best-selling brands. Having seen the new collection for this summer you guys reading this are going to be in for a treat because the range is stronger than ever. The streetwear vibe is still there and going strong and don’t be surprised to see some Abandon Ship collaborations happening later on in the year.
The success of Abandon Ship Apparel doesn’t happen by fluke. Away from Room 14 the team at ASA have continued to evolve and be innovative in their designs. On the other side Phil has kept their distribution tight within the best independent retailers and influential multiples. Oh, and if you weren’t already aware, Abandon Ship has a freakish-ly loyal fan base. Rich & Dunc (Abandon Ship’s founders) have a massive Instagram/Twitter cult following which allows them to indulge a bit when it comes to testing out new product for their ranges or letting you in on their legendary drinking ability on nights out!
One thing’s for sure we’ve loved being a small part of the Abandon Ship story. To see a brand start with two guys chucking in a few hundred quid together because they couldn’t find product in their area that they liked, to a brand on the cusp of international success is nothing short of incredible.
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