We caught up with the football loving founders of luxe new menswear brand Blood Brother to find a little bit more about what makes them tick
Founded in 2011 by friends Nicholas Biela and James Waller, their partnership was born on the football fields of the London College of Fashion (yes, we were surprised to hear LCF had a football team too), and what started out as a small t-shirt line has rapidly grown into a hugely exciting menswear brand, stocked by the likes of Selfridges, Hypebeast and Harvey Nichols.
We fell in love with their new collection, which pays homage to their childhood, bringing in details like football stickers, trophies and scars, and incorporating some fabulously luxe alpaca jumpers, 13oz Japanese Kuroki selvedge denim and a stunning pony hair jacket. We’ve never been quite so envious of the menswear section before. In honour of this standout collection we decided to catch up with Nicholas and James, to chat football, nostalgia and what the future holds.
What was the initial starting point for Blood Brother?
James: We became friends at college and had the same ambition to work together and start a brand. We happened to see a gap in the market and went for it; making products we wanted to wear and share with our friends.
I read you met on the LCF football team, do you still play?
Nick: If Arsene Wenger is reading, I could definitely do a job for him up top, I live down the road and know where my boots are.
Haha! What about your individual backgrounds and strengths, what would you say they are?
James: As mentioned above, we met during fashion college and understood for a successful business it was important to work elsewhere – myself in wholesale and Nick in design.
Our strengths dovetail really well and have enabled us to achieve the goals we set ourselves but the ones we suggest are most important in our relationship are vision, ambition, teamwork and integrity.
This collection pays homage to your childhood, why was this important to you?
Nick: My mother suggests I think too much; childhood is a place where the most important thing is what stickers you carry in your ‘stack’ and what you’re willing to swap, it’s a memory that James an I both share and cherish. Stickers, pogs & Teenage Mutant Turtles – feels like a much more fun time and place…
So is nostalgia a reoccurring theme for you?
Nick: I think that James and I are extremely nostalgic, we are both emotionally charged people and this is something we connect on, I feel there is something personal in our work and nostalgia is key to that. It is certainly a recurring theme in my reading, Franzen, Murakami & Ishiguru all use an intense dose of nostalgia within their prose which I find touching. If we can encapsulate something which we cherish from the past and re-glorify it, then great.
So where do you see Blood Brother in ten years time?
James: Who knows where we will be, Gone? Forgotten? Global? We feel extremely proud to be where we are and at least we will not have regrets for never trying, we are driven and are constantly learning.
Lastly, describe the Blood Brother aesthetic in 3 words…
James: Considered, conceptual, confident.