Stolen Girlfriends Club was started in 2005 by Dan Gosling, Marc Moore and Luke Harwood. The concept began with Marc and Luke finding themselves in that same old cliche – they couldn’t find any clothing that they wanted to wear so they started to make their own. Stolen Girlfriends Club’s first tee shirts got instant attention, that exposed a gap in the market, and before they knew it they were making full ranges. Dan Gosling had a distribution company for over 18 years prior to this and started off in skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding brands before extending to more fashion-styled clothing.
Dan’s personal aesthetic is quite timeless as he has been wearing a similar style for many years. He believes you should be able to go to work for the day, play a game of table tennis then go out for dinner or a drink in the same outfit. He also prefers to wear little colour, usually opting for shades of grey and black instead. Dan loves the grunge/rock and roll trend, which the label has always incorporated into their ranges somehow. He dislikes the fast fashion trend at the moment, where clothing is so disposable. Buying pieces that you can wear over and over again and for many years is what counts for Dan.
Dan’s advice for young designers is to do your research, get some experience, work harder than anyone and be humble. Stolen Girlfriends Club believes the internet is now the biggest opportunity for brands. It exposes a designer to the world so easily but also puts you up against all the designers in the world. With this opportunity comes a challenge, you have to be internationally competitive. Social media is another important factor that is moving quickly and changing. Stolen Girlfriends Club is seeing growth in its own retail stores and online. They are also creating new categories; sunglasses, denim and homeware.
Stolen Girlfriends Club’s customers are quite varied. They have the young generation coming through, especially the generation that has grown up on social media, but they also have an older generation appreciation of their brand. Ever since they started, Stolen Girlfriends Club has tried to be careful with how it spends on marketing initiatives and events. They have also called in a lot of favours over their lifetime and Dan believes they probably wouldn't be here but for all of those people and sponsors who have helped them out over the ten years.
One of Stolen Girlfriends Clubs’ biggest achievements is being stocked in some of the best stores in the world. These include Restir in Japan, IT in Hong Kong, and Liberty in London. In a few months they are marking the ten year anniversary of being in business, which will also be a huge highlight.