Menswear Style Podcast

David Almond, Founder of Snide London

July 29, 2020 Menswear Style Episode 74
Menswear Style Podcast
David Almond, Founder of Snide London
Chapters
Menswear Style Podcast
David Almond, Founder of Snide London
Jul 29, 2020 Episode 74
Menswear Style

Snide (Snide London) is aimed at customers who care about how they look, enjoy spending money on superior brands, and yet are keen to let the world know they don't take themselves too seriously. They are sophisticated but have a sense of humour and a sense of irony. The brand is a parody of fake items from the Far East. Snide is the slang for a fake in London and they are also sometimes called Jekyls​ (Jekyls and Hydes = Snides). Their tag line is 'Never Knowingly Right' and the designs all feature a small, and often very subtle mistake. These mistakes, although often not nearly as subtle, often appear in fake goods as their manufacturers are not au fait with the English language or Western culture. Their shirts and polo shirts feature a small logo that, at first glance, resembles Ralph Lauren's Polo design, but on closer inspection it's actually an old-fashioned golfer, hitting a rugby ball, with a hockey stick.

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview David Almond, Founder of Snide London about the backstory of how the brand concept was born. It was a fake luxury watch showing the date of the 41st of January which first got them thinking about how they could use subtle mistakes in their graphics as the ethos for their new brand. Our host Peter Brooker and David also talk about the importance of an original brand story, using high quality materials and fabrics, the fake news zeitgeist, conducting market research at clothing exhibitions, the effects of Covid-19 on trade, and adopting social media for branding.

Whilst we have your attention, be sure to sign up to our daily MenswearStyle newsletter here. We promise to only send you the good stuff.

Show Notes Transcript

Snide (Snide London) is aimed at customers who care about how they look, enjoy spending money on superior brands, and yet are keen to let the world know they don't take themselves too seriously. They are sophisticated but have a sense of humour and a sense of irony. The brand is a parody of fake items from the Far East. Snide is the slang for a fake in London and they are also sometimes called Jekyls​ (Jekyls and Hydes = Snides). Their tag line is 'Never Knowingly Right' and the designs all feature a small, and often very subtle mistake. These mistakes, although often not nearly as subtle, often appear in fake goods as their manufacturers are not au fait with the English language or Western culture. Their shirts and polo shirts feature a small logo that, at first glance, resembles Ralph Lauren's Polo design, but on closer inspection it's actually an old-fashioned golfer, hitting a rugby ball, with a hockey stick.

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview David Almond, Founder of Snide London about the backstory of how the brand concept was born. It was a fake luxury watch showing the date of the 41st of January which first got them thinking about how they could use subtle mistakes in their graphics as the ethos for their new brand. Our host Peter Brooker and David also talk about the importance of an original brand story, using high quality materials and fabrics, the fake news zeitgeist, conducting market research at clothing exhibitions, the effects of Covid-19 on trade, and adopting social media for branding.

Whilst we have your attention, be sure to sign up to our daily MenswearStyle newsletter here. We promise to only send you the good stuff.

Unknown:

Hello, welcome to another episode of the men's best style podcast. I'm your host Pete Brooker. In the background is my girlfriend coughing because she's got the leggy, but pay no mind. Today I'm going to be speaking to David Armand He is the founder of snide London snide London. They are a brand that parody fake items from the Far East. snide is a slang for a fake in London, and they're sometimes known as jackals, Jacqueline hides slides. So all the designs will all feature a very small and subtle mistake. You might have a poodle on the front and it will be a nine instead of an eight and we'll get into into the interview, but for those that know their pool, you know that you don't get an eyeball. Anyway, snide London coda UK, that's the place to check it out. David, I didn't really know anything about the brand. I'll be honest, going into this interview, I'd never spoke to David before I picked up the phone to him. But I gotta say this was one of the best interviews I think we've done for a while in terms of just how fast and loose it was. So I hope you enjoy it as well. In the meantime, men's best our code at UK is a place where you can go and find all the show notes, all the other articles and travel by maybe not so much travel with money, but lots of different fashion trends topics and follow us on the social menswear style. Punch that into your smartphone. And if you want to get in touch with the show, maybe tell us about your journey. Tell us about your brand. It's info menswear. style.co UK. Okay. Here is that interview with David allmand, founder of snide London. Well, it's my great pleasure to introduce David Armand, founder of snide London. How we're doing today, David? I'm doing fine. Peter, thanks. Thanks so much for the introduction. No, it's a pleasure to have you on. David, please tell me a little bit about snide London, how you got off the ground? How old is it? And well, we'll start with this. Yeah, yeah, sure. It's been buzzing around for about four years. We actually registered the brand name in 2016. Believe it or Not now. But none is neither me or my fellow directors are actually in the fashion industry at the time. So it's taking this quite a long time to get the concepts off the ground, get the stock up and running, the marketing in place. So we've been trading now for about a year, actually selling this actually selling the product. Nice. Oh, and tell me something about the backstory of what inspired you to start to work? Yes. My business partner, he, he also owns a factory in China, where he imports and exports goods, etc. And one day he came home, and was particularly proud of this Breitling watch he'd acquired. Now, he knew it wasn't a real Breitling. But he did pay 500 pounds for it. So it was a very good watch. He was somewhat taken aback one day when he told him it was the 41st of January. And that that guy just got us talking. And we started investigated and when countries that don't use English as their first language, try and do fakes and copies or slides as they load in London, they sometimes make small little mistakes. So if you look carefully at any item of clothing, it has a mistake in it somewhere. Yeah, not not in the design the designs as high quality as we could possibly make it. But in terms of the image that we use, the best example I can probably give you is one of our T shirts is up for printed the playing card. But that playing card is the 11th of diamonds. Nice I think I've been dealt with Yeah, those were my mates House of Cards. Five aces. Somebody shows up before we levered have died. Sounds like something out button with Rick Mayo needed. Yeah, I think he was praying that we sort of talked about it. Okay. It's in terms of modern parlance, a disruptive brands in that it's, it's a brands though, that really does what it says on the tin. It's designed for the clothes as good as close as we could possibly make. So they're designed to people that want other people to know that they've spent money on the clothes, that they care about how they dress, but there's a little sensation even there, there's a sense of a sense of self deprecation. And every week if you see someone else wearing a snake In a bar, you know that you two are in a sort of select club. Yeah, we totally Yeah, we try to describe it as our customers are shepherds, not sheep, which is a nice so Robin just have a picture of a crocodile on his shirt or a picture of a guy sitting on a horse with a polo stick. The brand actually means something it does what it says on the tin. It is a snide and it represents the, the, the likely source of that customer as well. It's the it's a knowing wink to the world. Nice. I like that. Well, I've got a I like any brand has got a story or a backstory or something that is like an icebreaker when you're out and about, you know, if you want to tell someone like hey, what you're wearing. It's so pretty standard. If it's Yeah, flirting. Yeah, I get it. But if you got something different, and there's a little narrative behind it, I really dig that. I mean, I actually remember when my best friend from school opened up a clothes shop in Essex, and I then went into business with him, he had this shirt, this T shirt, and I forget the name of the brand, but it was something to do with the arm chair killed my brother Neil. And it was just like an anagram for him. Right. And I love that the designer of this T shirt and the founder of the brand. It was like his brother had kind of got a basic, he kind of got the couch potato syndrome. And eventually, you know, just the couch swallowed him up, and he got all sorts of illnesses and he died. And so he created this brand, and it was such a weird name. I think that's what it is the armchair kill my revenue. It was such a weird name for a brand but I loved it, in terms of I loved its originality, loves the fact that you can talk to someone about it, or if it's someone's looking at it, and they go, what's that? And you can actually just tell them, like I've told you now, a little brief history of the brand. I don't think you really get that with a lot of the marquee name brands. I think that's somehow lost on those. I think so as well. Yeah, that this is where we started coming up. But as I said, we decided you wouldn't be one of the taglines we use in our marketing is you wouldn't want to wear a cheap site. So we've gone we've got at the high end of the market, you know, our prices are designed to be equivalent to Ted Baker, diesel, Ralph Lauren, those sort of brands. But it's as I said, it's a no indeed a wink that there's something different about us. Well, another great example of what I was wearing one in a bar one day one of our T shirts is a portable, the blackballing pool. And it's it's, it's, it's a nine ball, which if you know anything about por which should be in April. At a go, I go grabbing a bottle your T shirts wrong. And I said I know what's wrong with it? I said, Yes, you should be able to watch it, because it's just nice. Ah, and of course, of course we have the labelling on the side is also the slides written on the sleeves snide written on the, on the hem as well. So and that, but then, of course, he loved it. And he went out and bought one for all of his poor team. So cool. Things like yeah, there's a story behind each brand. You know, even the logo that we have on our designer shirts and polo shirts. It looks like that. Yes, it looks a bit Ralph Lauren sometimes because it's a sportsman. But if you look closely, it's a golfer, an old fashioned golfer in tweed, but he sits in a rugby ball with a hook. Yeah, we've also blown it up into a T shirt with the legend. Anyone for tennis underneath it as well. Which has been a big hit in tennis clubs. David, I love it. How? How close. Can you sell to the wind on these sort of things? Are you ever worried that you know the big boys might come after you go? Hey, come on. Mr. Ralph. Lauren's Not gonna lie that. Well. As I say it doesn't look anything like revenue. We coach to say it's not a fake. We're not trying to be any won't be snide is a brand in its own in its own position. We send it out. It's a snide, we're proud. It's nice. And other people should be proud. It's a snide. I mean, one of the things that really dragged us kicking and screaming, so we started spending a lot of money on the brand and developing it was the fake news near Donald Trump. And it was a general election last year as well. Everyone was talking about fake news. Right. And so we thought it was it was good for the right guys at the time as well. Yeah, that's, I mean, who does the designs? How does that process work? We've got a product director and a brand director. And they they mix them up between tours and basically just have some ideas. Obviously, there's so much you can do with it. So we've got our initial we've put our initial launch brands in there, but there's so many other ideas we've got we've got a lookbook that we took to a professional an exhibition last well, six months ago now pure London, and that's full of new ideas. You've got four designs, you know, we've got our we've got Fox dressed in Hanson's gear right in the whole Rubik's Rubik's Cube, it's all one colour. Anyway, I'm gonna solve that. By the way. Anyway, I could do it as well. But it if we could sort of take an iconic there was polite. We did play around at one stage with a Ferrari bridge that but it was a deer with antlers. But we never we never got around to that someone said it was Ferrari suit as soon as it'd be great publicity. Wow. Yeah. Yeah, but it's still on the back burner. So how does how do you vet them? Ultimately? Do you do kind of like market research exhibitions? Or do you just exactly what we do? exhibitions do market research? So we have a lookbook. And we weren't first started, we had sort of 16 different designs, had various focus groups, various family and friends meetings, even even took books, books to the pubs and asked people to choose their 10 favourite designs for them. Nevertheless, that's the one that we first stuck with. But it was the one that seems to be very popular among is the Jekyll and Hyde designs. Now, I don't know if your favourite rhyming slang. hides slides. Right? Right, exactly. So as long as we have a T shirt, and then a 20 polo shirt, with a Jekyll and Hyde design to two faces one one car one angry at that, that's a that's a Jekyll. That that's that seems very popular, because he's quite a cool image as well. Yeah, no, it is iconic. You know, you instantly recognise it. And you kind of get the get the motive as well. Yeah. And actually, one of our designers is my brother. And he designed that. So the actual face we use is a picture of my father when he was 23 years old. It's a bit of personal stuff to do as well. Love it. I mean, what's your history going into this? David? If you got a history in design or, or clothing, textile? How did you approach this? Not at all. I'm a virgin, I've run a few businesses in my time, for many things from engineering to kitchen, retail, but my train is a journalist. Oh, I was I was a national journalist back in the day, early 90s. And obviously done quite a bit of marketing works instead. So it's, it's an ideas. I like to think as an ideas, man, and this, this idea really resonated when we came up with it. So we found back in and we developed it from there. And how much of your time do you a lot on a daily basis? So you kind of Yeah, every day. For me now, it's it is a full time job. Right? Okay, it's full time. But you know, I've been of a certain age group, say over 40. challenges. The challenge is learning about Instagram and learning about talk and learning about social media influences. Yeah, it's a it's a new world to a certain extent. But we are we are in the process of recruiting a younger designer, hopefully coming out of college to develop some more of our casual football shirts. And we're hoping that they also have a better a better slot on social media. That would also be delayed Oh, yeah. Well, I need to talk to that guy as well. I mean, I don't know how do you approach it? I mean, so I'm 41 coming on 42. I didn't have any kind of computer skills when I was at school. And I think we've just got a different breed of people now that are being brought up on computers and programming and coding and social media, you know, they my niece, she's only 14, but it's a second language to her. And I'm getting her to teach me stuff. So how do you approach it? And where do you kind of go to for your advice? Well, I mean, various, various marketing agencies live and learn as well. Yeah, I suppose I understand Facebook, more than anything else. And we've been quite successful in some paid campaigns on Facebook as well. But I think Instagram is the one. And we are in the process of linking Instagram in with our e commerce channel, so that we can do Instagram shopping. Really? Okay. Yeah, that's a big thing, apparently. So that's coming soon. How you getting on with Tick Tock routines and which ones you'd come up with something, something something that does, I suppose directors of the company, so we will just did a dance routine, it can be saved up to 50. It's pretty good. quite good. Johnson goes viral. Yes. So how does that process work? If there's five of you together? I'm guessing it's a lot of zoom meetings, or it's a lot of email threads. How do you guys kind of triangulate and get things done? It's where we concentrated on. So everyone's got a special expertise here. We have a web director that lives After the website and the the e commerce side, then we have a brand director, then we have a product director, then we have myself either Managing Director. So why should I coordinate everything? And they want chips in with their time? I mean, so that they will do a lot of other interests as well. But it works very well with the performance for myself for very successful businessmen in their own right. And they will they will bring something to the party. Yes. And I guess has COVID had an impact on trade, has it managed to help you two or more people online shopping looking for new things. And we haven't we haven't noticed an upturn. But obviously, in terms of the market in general with the decline at the high street, and also, the fastest growing online shopping group for clothing is men, men that men have started buying online now. Whereas historically, women who bought lots of outfits online and sent them all back. Whereas now, now men, men, men have finally caught up. And that's the growth curve on that is huge, and it can only get better. The lovely thing about me is they don't tend to return in the same way. Because our product is so great. No one's ever wants to, but we have not had one return yet. The product, the product is great, but also been copied over to return it. That is true. So when I when I ran my fashion shop, I would mean the days where you'd like, you know, hard times we were out in the middle of the sticks, you know, we were we were way outside of Cambridge, zero footfall. But when we'd see some the postman come through the door, and you got the return package under his army, black son of a gun, I would never return stuff. When I'd buy stuff online. I would just fit Okay, oh, this didn't quite work out. But I know someone's birthday is coming up. And I know that this is, you know, this is gonna save me another job going out and buying something else. So there's always kind of some trickle down effect. I feel like when I buy stuff online, it could always get pawned off in another area. Yeah, I think for practical purposes as well, men, men tend to be the same size, don't ya know, if you're, you know, if you're medium, you know, if you're a large, you know, if you're an extra large and that that obviously helps as well. So you got any plans of doing women's range? I didn't see any on your site. Know that. The next thing we have, we are looking at a range of golf shirts. We have sponsored a golf professional because obviously the logo being the golfer that tends to sit there, so So what so we're dipping our toes into sportswear. We then think children's wear and probably shoes before women's wear. Because I think you need a certain expertise, especially when it comes to the design. Okay, and and so shoes how are we gonna get that off the ground? That was what we already started doing some research. We've got a project to like cowboy boots. Oh, cool. Which I like wearing, but it makes that that is that is just a logo. We can't really think of anything. You can do the shoes a shoe. Yeah, that's that's more of a bread. Unless now I'm only throwing spaghetti at the wall here, David, unless you had your Brenner but with a full head of hair tattooed onto the side of it. So you kind of have the cowboy. But there's something off with him. He's wearing all black for the Magnificent Seven, but he's got long flowy looks underneath his black hat. Yeah, yeah. Something like that. Yeah. And and Steve McQueen next to him. He's completely bored. Yeah, yeah, that's you know what? You can take it as long as I get there. That's it. But see, once you start talking, there's so much you can do with it. There's so much things where you can just tweak them make them slightly wrong. Yeah, we've got a we've added new look a range of guitars, people who love guitars. We have an obsession of an iconic red Gibson but he's got Fender at the minute and an iconic Fender Telecaster Gibson written on it or episode written, there's only so much you can do. It just catches people's eyes. Do you know what this is? Me? This makes me want to do David actually makes me want to go back to the pub. So that you can have these conversations and you know, you you think oh, okay, well, someone needs to write it down. And then the beer mat comes out and the Parker pens Right, exactly. Yeah, no, it can get in. We actually had a great Friday meeting on top of a mountain on a skiing holiday once were on the app for a ski and the idea is really started. Yeah, I guess you got to, if you go full circle with a brand it's got to go to watch it so you can launch your own watches right or are you thinking of doing something like that later down the road? T shirts. These are watch. Yeah, they say that the snide one right? We fought we fought the snide brand with 41 written in the date section. But yes, I mean, I'd love to I'd love to produce some sniper watches we've actually snipe them, I think would be great. Yeah. And the dates would have to go to 41. Yes, exactly. you invent a new calendar. David, thanks so much for jumping on the podcast, snide. london.co.uk is a place where people can go on the social as well, snide London. And, I guess ship internationally. People internationally, we think we've sold a few in Australia, there's a there's a lovely picture on the website somewhere of a guy standing under the the Opera House wearing the webinar deliver 11 of diamonds t shirt, which I like, because people tend to send us some as well, when they were away. This week, if you follow us on Instagram, we've got a guy in a limo in Las Vegas, where, where it's nice. Las Vegas where it's nice. But yeah, the guy, the guy underneath the opera houses, particularly, I think the Australians and New Zealanders, the MTD, and they get they get they get rhyming slang. And I get the concept. They like the other interesting market, which we haven't sold to yet, because we haven't marketed there. But we I just said my business partner has contacts in China, believe it or not, the Chinese Love it. Love these products. And they don't waste like it's a real thing in China, they might have a reputation for producing them. But they were caught dead wearing one. And they actually get the irony and the joy of this thread. So we will we will be launching, obviously yet. We've got stock issues we're selling. We're selling so quickly. We try to keep up with the UK market. What else but once we can get a real bulk ordering in China, China, I think you said to be conquered. Great. Well, like they I guess they want to let people know they've got a sense of humour as well. Right. Exactly. And they had some British brands do superb job. I mean, I think Burberry is an example it was actually brilliant in China, even when their reputation suffered over here. So China went through and face masks as well. very timely, at first, that first batch of Facebook's arrive. I think today stripe. I like the very, very interesting designs they do. Just forming firm now. I really liked the Charlie facemask the 20 note is not included. I'll let people make up their own images in their mind and well just go to the website and check it out. But that's we've had we've had we've had mixed codes on that one. We think that one is the one that might go viral. I like to start boxing. Yeah. So Well, David, congrats, mate, I think you've got a great brand. I love a brand with a sense of humour as well as a story. So I think the hearts in the right place and the designs are really cool. So Best of luck. It's again snide London coda, UK place to go encourage people to check it out. In the meantime. Thanks, David. Been absolute pleasure. Thank you so much. Cheers, mate. Thank you. Cheers. But really David Almaden Thank you, David. Thank you for listening. And I hope you guys are staying safe, staying well out there. Make sure you get on to the shops, do some actual shopping, keep the highest rate alive. If you want to check out snide London. They're online though. That's snide London dot code at UK. And all the show notes we'll be putting over on our site ends we're startup code at UK. Again, hit the ratings are up. Craig, the editor he sends me these ratings every couple of weeks and they are going up man and that's all because of you guys telling a friend and you know leaving those reviews and whatnot. So thank you. And until next time, remember it's only fashion people and you're never fully dressed without a smile.