FOOTBALL: James McClean shows off his new kit at launch of new fashion label
JAMES McCLEAN and his business partner, Jordan Allen reckon their trendy new clothing label, '˜ThanksJosh' is destined for the top!
At the official opening of their new clothes shop in Carlisle Road, Derry last week, West Brom and Ireland winger, McClean and Coleraine striker, Allen, unveiled their ambitious plans in the fashion industry.
It’s an unlikely partnership but it’s already showing great promise and both men are excited about the future of their new brand.
“It is a proud moment,” said ex-Derry City frontman, Allen of his new menswear venture. “A lot of work and effort has been put into the shop. It’s good to finally get it opened and get our clothing line out there.
“It’s great to have James here as he’s done so much for the company and I can’t thank him enough. It’s good to have his backing. He told me I could go far with it and really believed in me. He’s helped me a lot. There’s not many fashion labels coming out of Derry and so James is keen to get one out there.”
Clearly it would have been an own goal for the label not to make the most of McClean’s Premiership status. And there’s never any half measures with the ambitious ‘Baggies’ midfielder, who said he’s not involved just to ‘mess about’. He’s determined to expand the brand, which specialises in t-shirts, shorts and hats, worldwide and was keen to invest his own time and money into the project.
He was introduced to Jordan through his brother, Patrick when they both played for Derry City and they instantly hit it off.
“I got to know Jordan through Patrick,” explained James. “He told me Jordan had a t-shirt for me and asked if I would mind wearing it. I get a lot of requests to do that from people starting off in their business. I tried it on and it was a nice t-shirt. So I thought it would be a good idea to invest and get on board and see where it goes.
“I’m a driven, ambitious person and I got what I wanted in life through football. I’m coming into this with the same driving ambition. People might laugh but I want this to be a very top brand worldwide. All the top brands started off from nothing. They had to take that first step and this is our first step.
“We’re putting a lot into it so we have to aim for the top. If we fall just short then we’ve done well. Only time will tell how well it goes.
McClean and Hull City midfielder, Robert Snodgrass have both been pictured sporting the new clothing line but the Derry man isn’t prepared to call out his West Brom and Ireland teammates to give his new brand a boost. Well, not just yet!
“I haven’t really put it upon my teammates yet. We’ll see how it goes in Derry first and if it sells well then we’ll expand. It’s good quality gear so we’re not messing about here. Social media is a massive tool in advertising for any company. So the more we can boost that on social media the more people will take an interest and then the more people buy the product. In Derry there’s a lot of shops that sell the same brands. This is a new brand, it’s something different so let’s see how it gets on.
“It’s in a great location. You can come in get your haircut and buy a t-shirt then you’re sorted for a night out,” he laughed.“We want to give a mention to Muckers and Co. Barbers who provided us with this facility. He didn’t have to do that and we can’t thank him enough.” And with shoppers hitting the high street for the St Stephen’s Day sales this week, this footballing strikeforce are anxious to see if they’re cutting it in the style stakes off the pitch.