Wax London was founded with a dedication to create premium menswear with sustainability at its core and aims to bring the manufacturing of British outerwear back to the UK. Here, RLI spends some time with Co-Founder and Managing Director Tom Holmes to discuss how the business has evolved during difficult times and what lies in store for the brand.
Contemporary menswear company Wax London was founded five years ago by friends Tom Holmes, Steffy Neceva and Richard Singh. The business began with pop-up stores at markets and unique retail spaces across London and quickly gained a vast following, launching an e-commerce site within its first year of operation.
Today Wax London is stocked in around 50 stockists across the world and they opened their flagship 700sq ft store on Fouberts Place, just off Carnaby Street in Soho’s Newburgh Quarter – an area known for creative, independent brands in September last year. Spread across two floors, the site plays host to in-store exclusives and collaborations, including a coffee experience from Round Hill Roastery.
“It has of course been a tough year for everyone, but we’ve wanted to open our own store for a while now, and the perfect opportunity presented itself and we had to jump on it,” explains Tom Holmes, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Wax London. “We wanted it to be more than just a place to buy clothes, hence why we teamed up with coffee Roastery Round Hill.”
Discussing how the current market conditions have made the business re-evaluate its key objectives, Holmes explains that for all brands in their sector, the importance of their online presence is now more pivotal than ever. Whilst its online platform has always been a major focus for Wax London, the Covid-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of this medium and dealing directly with their customers online.
During these difficult times, the company has made sure that all the people around them are safe and well and that they continue to operate in a safe manner. “We have been really lucky to experience a lot of growth over the last year, so we have been able to focus on growing the team and getting all the fundamentals in place for what we hope to be a really great year for the brand,” Holmes says.
For the coming months, excitement is brewing around the next two collections the brand has coming up. SS21 will see Wax London introduce some great new sustainable fabrics in their shirt category, whilst their next winter collection is looking to be its best to date. They are also looking to expand internationally through their website and they are bringing their internal systems up-to-date to help facilitate the growth they are experiencing.
“For us the US is a major target, as well as getting more of a foothold in Europe, the main issue is of course Brexit at the moment, so we are just trying to get to grips with that and then we can look further afield,” explains Holmes.
After quickly establishing a strong presence across international markets, Wax London aim to maintain its market position by making products that last and are seasonless. This is what Tom and the great creative team at the company, headed up by Creative Director and Co-Founder Steffy Neceva believe in and think will set them up to be in existence many years from now.
“Ultimately we think that having a great product, for a friendly price and doing what we can to be as responsible as possible will resonate with a base of people of which we also belong to,” Holmes comments.
Keeping in-line with the explosion in social media and the important role it plays in the modern retail world, the business has recently employed a digital marketing manager, who is currently developing the digital footprint of Wax London, which Holmes reveals is an exciting process to watch as it unfolds.
As the interview neared its end, one of the last questions we put to Tom was, what does he believe the ethos of the brand to be?
“To be inclusive not exclusive and make products in as a responsible way as we can, as well as having fun doing it. It is really all about sticking to our core values and delivering these across all of our platforms.”
Holmes feels that the company has enjoyed some early success because of the above and also because they do not have a pretension to what they are doing. Wax London makes products that people want, at a good and fair price and this remains the most important thing for the company as they move forward in these strange and unusual times.