Two brothers have revealed how the business they started with just £150 is now a fashion empire worth millions.
George, 29, and Mike Heaton, 32, launched their luxury streetwear brand Represent in 2011 in their hometown of Horwich, Greater Manchester.
After initially making their own printed t-shirts, the duo have since branched out into loungewear and luxury footwear.
Speaking to Manchester Evening News, the ambitious brothers explained how their business is now worth millions and will soon be available for shopping at Selfridges.
George said: “We don’t feel like we’re trying to sell clothes to anybody because people get it.
Pictured: George Heaton. The brothers live and work together in Horwich and are building their dream headquarters there
George, 29, and Mike Heaton, 32, from Horwich, launched their luxury streetwear brand Represent in Bolton in 2011 when they were 18 and 21 respectively. Pictured: The brothers styling a model during a photoshoot
“I started by creating my own clothes, things that I would like to wear, in the most luxurious fabrics possible, but at an affordable price.”
The brand’s collection covers all the streetwear basics, with prices for their graphic tees ranging from £60 to £100, while their sweaters range from £110 to £140.
The couple grew up in Bolton and went on to study graphic design at Runshaw College in Leyland and later at the University of Salford.
At 18, George printed some of the graphic t-shirts he and his brother had dreamed up for a college project, and the idea behind Represent was born.
The pair started advertising their brand on Instagram, catching the eye of celebrities like Justin Bieber, who wore the brand while touring the UK.
Building on this initial success, George said this organic way of advertising resulted in a strong and loyal audience online.
In 2019, he revealed the brand was turning over £8m and aimed to reach £10m, but saw profits level off.
The label’s popularity has exploded with the coronavirus pandemic as more customers have turned to online shopping during the lockdown.
The brand’s collection covers all the streetwear basics, with prices for their graphic tees ranging from £60 to £100, while their sweaters range from £110 to £140. Pictured: A Represent jumper, priced at £140
Mike, the eldest of two brothers. The brand started advertising on Instagram in 2011 and the business exploded in 2020. The pair share snaps of their outfits on their social media.
George revealed that the brand is taking advantage of people being at home and spending more time online than ever to launch products each week to reach more customers.
Now Flannels, END, Harrods, Browns and Harvey Nichols all stock the brand and the brothers claim their business is now worth millions.
The pair, who are proud of their partnerships in the UK and US, plan to expand globally in the coming years and allow customers who discovered them online to physically experience what is Represent.
George and Mike are set to release a collaboration with the Motley Crue in Los Angeles, with the line’s launch party taking place at the iconic Viper Room club.
Pictured: Mike working on images for Represent’s online presence. The brothers launched their social media business in the 2010s
The duo are also considering home products and beauty lines in the future.
The brand is based in Horwich, where the duo employ 60 people and plan to hire 40 more by the end of 2023.
They are also busy building Represent’s dream offices, which will include a chef and a 6,000m² gym for their staff.
The two brothers, who document their regular gym visits on their personal Instagram accounts, say healthy living is part of their brand ethos and want to encourage their staff to join.
Meanwhile, the couple still live together in a shared house in Horwich, but admit they have very different schedules.
The brothers are happy to have created their brand together and admit that the whole company is like a big family, with some of their collaborators having been involved in the brand since its inception.