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Two Scottish entrepreneurs are putting their best foot forward in the fashion industry with their exclusive luxury men’s brand.
Founders of The London Sock Company, Ryan Palmer, from Glasgow and Dave Pickard, from Paisley, both 34, saw a gap in today’s ever-growing market when they made a simple observation; people really do notice your socks.
“We saw a wonderful opportunity to add flair and personality to men’s outfits so we designed a collection of elegant and stylish socks,” said Palmer.
The high-end brand, which launched in 2013, has attracted a huge amount of support and respect in the fashion world and now boasts an array of celebrity customers including Daniel Craig, Tom Hiddleston, Ryan Reynolds, Matt Smith, Ben Cohen, Pat Cash and of course supermodel David Gandy, who is brand ambassador.
In fact Gandy,37, voted GQ’s most stylish man, loved the product so much, he ended up investing in the business and even has his own collection within the stylish range – with 10% of sales generously being donated to the company’s nominated charity, Style for Soldiers.
Gandy said: “Statement socks are really having a moment right now but it’s so important to get it right. The attention to detail the brand has is one of the many concepts I fell in love with and is why I ended up investing in them.”
‘ ….In fact Gandy, 37, voted GQ’s most stylish man, loved the product so much, he ended up investing in the business’
With no experience in the fashion or manufacturing industry, Palmer and Pickard left their jobs in London, where they worked at the same IT consultancy, to pursue their careers in fashion.
Palmer said: “Dave and I both came from the corporate world where there was limited opportunity to add style and express personality through our work wear.
“As sock enthusiasts we weren’t really satisfied with the availability on the market, so we decided to ‘pull our socks up’ and do it better ourselves.
“When Dave (Pickard) and I first launched London Sock Company, in 2013, we had absolutely no experience of fashion or manufacturing – So when it came to creating our original collection, we had to do a tonne of research on manufacturers both in the UK and in Europe. We were quite regimented about going through the process to understand, evaluate and select the best of our business.
“There were a lot of sacrifices made but is was worth it in the long run because it was about taking control of your destiny.
We poured an incredible amount of energy and passion into the business which is sometimes hard to replicate when you work for someone else.”
Palmer and Pickard gained entrepreneurial skills from a young age – Pickard studied for his master’s degree in engineering at the University of Strathclyde, then he started selling disposable cameras in vending machines to nightclub owners (long before the days of everyone possessing camera phones).
Palmer started his entrepreneur career as a child – he would sell fish he had caught to his neighbours for extra pocket money! Following his master’s degree in marketing and management at Loughborough University, while still working in an IT consultancy firm, he also co-founded a company called Find My Igloo that worked with buyers helping them find, move and improve property in London.
The pair travel around Europe in search of only the highest quality materials and knitting methods that can help improve their brand. They continue to do this to ensure their product has the right care and attention to be the best in the market.
The London Sock Company has only been running for three and a half years years but the gentlemen have achieved a considerable amount already – they have recently been invited to 10 Downing St to meet the Prime Minister and met Prince Charles as part of a charitable initiative London Sock Company support, called Style for Soldiers.
For more information about the brand and how the gentlemen wooed David Gandy, visit the website: https://www.londonsockcompany.com/blog/category/founders-journal/
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