It’s November, 2020. After months, if not years of investing in the fashion market, I sat on a short train journey back home with the idea of setting up my own brand. As much time was spent exploring the market over the years on a personal level, the instantaneous decision came about travelling back to my home town Darwen. Somewhat accidentally. After misreading a post on social media the phrase ‘Date Night’ somehow stuck and became the representative name for the garments now being produced. 

Date attire- sophisticated, timeless and tailored.

We originally set out, due to funding, to explore the wholesale market, though at a higher specification to most to really represent the brands identity within luxury fashion. Initially, this was a success; creating a story for the brand, a connection to myself and the town I grew up in. This meant a symbol, an identification of what home was and is to myself. Darwen Tower. Using certain tones to relate to the town we ventured into screen printing and washes to put together a simple tee of high quality with a print of the tower to bring both home and garment together. The Homage Tee was born. Though the process alongside this was also making its debut, as months went on with rigorous testing and trial and error to efficiently learn this process. Fast forward to September 2021, we released the tee publicly (ironically on the towers anniversary and reopening). It was somewhat a success, we had multiple sales, and positive feedback, though not enough to prevent any sort of worry about pursuing this further. Whilst the basis of the input was something to be highly proud of, it wasn’t the take off to another level. 

Procrastination. Surrender. Push forward. 

All options considered multiple times. October 2021-July 2023. A gap that had endless revisits all asking the same questions. What if it fails? Do I give up and move on? Do I push and test my resilience and strength? I asked these every few days, for over a year. It wasn’t a simple decision by a long shot. Now I during this entire time, and to this current day, work a part to full time standard job, as well as studying a University degree, both incredibly time exhausting to balance, so fitting in running a brand always raised its doubts. To conquer it, would mean a huge mental and physical battle, testing resilience and fear of the unknown. After months of this, I sat down and realised, no connection has influenced me or tested me as much as the brand has. It’s almost been an ultimate test in every aspect and deserved an answer. It deserved to be tested. I set about again, exploring the market with full intent to create some sort of statement piece. A timeless yet effective garment that goes past a blank T-shirt with no emotion. Whilst a pocket tee, does not appear to encapsulate a piece that needs to be well planned out. After all, it is a pocket, attached to a T-shirt. It still needed to embody the fundamentals of design. Multiple mock ups were sketched, numerous samples came into fruition until we finally reached our pinnacle that fully represented what we was going for. Fit wise, shape wise and cut wise. We welcomed our  our take on the Pocket Tee. It sits cropped at the waist with a slightly oversized/ dropped shoulder at 300GSM in weight. Each detail crafted perfectly to execute the ideal on body fit. It features a double stitched chest pocket split into two sections for that added detailing. 

The details. Minute, irrelevant to most, details. 

The day finally arrived, trying on the final sample of the tee. Something was wrong, though to most, probably not that important to speak of. It was, and is. The wash tag, the neck label & the neck tag. All pretty standard to most, yet nothing was to be left behind. All, reworked, multiple times, from tones to font to sizing. Of which, all had to be perfect. Before the prolonged wait came on the arrival of the final pocket tee, to actually test whether these features had been listened to. They had. The box of tees arrived. All perfectly packaged. This was the moment. Every month of procrastination and willingness to persevere relied on opening that first tee and putting it on body. It fit. In fact just those two words alone need to be used. 

‘Does it fit’

Perfectly. Years of exploring the market for a tailored fitted tee, and this set of dimensions (there was a lot) just fit. Length, shape, neckline. Everything. I knew in that exact moment, I had created a garment that was ready. It was and is in its entirety to my own fit of specifications. I could go on and claim that this is the best tee on the market, best fit etc. I won’t. Each personal preference is key to a persons wardrobe though I envision this brand to have created something incredibly special. A staple that sets out for the future of the brand and direction.

The Pressure

Immense. I don’t have any other word for it. It was constant undeniable pressure. I’ve not yet solely learnt or push this pressure away, though through experience, know now how to adapt it within the work and craft. Every detail you see is controlled and ran by myself. It’s constant pressure. Outside of the garment production and creation, everything from social media channels to website is all ran by myself. It quite literally takes Sole Owner of the business to that exact level.
I’ve learnt that success is not overnight. It’s 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. Part/full time job, University degree and brand owner- pressure.

"Are you proud?"

Short answer-Yes.

I am proud of what I have achieved, but not yet proud of what it is to become, as it has not yet been defined. 

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