The Rise of Represent: How Two Brothers Built a Fashion Phenomenon
The Heaton brothers grew up in a working-class family in the city of Manchester. Despite not having a lot of money, they always had a passion for fashion. George Heaton started Represent as a college project when he realised that he could sell his art. Instead of selling his art as prints or on canvas, he instead made them into graphics for clothing and this is how Represent was born. He started off by using blank clothing and simply printing his designs onto T-shirts, hoodies and jerseys. Their first official release was in 2012 and comprised of 20 T-shirts that featured a box logo. Represent have always had a keen eye for marketing and this essence has been there since the beginning. George handed out Represent caps to Rizzle Kicks, a popular Hip-Hop duo when they were playing at a local festival. This kicked off their first unofficial marketing campaign and the duo went on to wear full Represent outfits.
They continued to build upon their local success and released their FW13 collection titled Ghost. This was their first collection with externally sourced clothing and was inspired by Rolls Royce cars. This collection made a mark on the streetwear community and popular news brands, Hypebeast and Highsnobiety wrote articles about this collection. This was the beginning of their exponential growth and kick-started their mission for global dominance. 2016 was described as a year where they went full throttle in order to gain a strong foothold in the industry. They had their first ever runway show in Paris which only had 100 guests in attendance. Their brand started being noticed by celebs, including global superstar, Justin Bieber. Represent sponsored him some clothing when they met in Manchester and Justin went on to wear Represent for the rest of his tour. The Heaton brothers worked hard to maintain their upwards trajectory and 2017 was another big year for them. They kicked off the year with a Paris Fashion Week show which was followed by a New York Fashion Week show. Another New York runway in June saw Represent announce their SS18 collection. Their success led to the opening of a 1-month pop-up store in LA.
2019 saw Represent shift their business strategy and they were more focused on their online sales to consumers. Selling to consumers requires not only a great product, but a great story and marketing campaign. They designed their SS20 collection and knew that they had to have a memorable photoshoot. Their chosen location was the Rockfield Studios, a legendary recording studio in Wales. Oasis, Queen and Coldplay have all recorded at these studios so Represent decided to pay tribute to this legendary status and named their collection “Rockfields”.