A unisex fashion brand who are concerned with much more than simply creating incredible clothes, Young Goat are certainly on the up.
Launched in Bristol by six friends – Al, Aaron, Jack, Vincent, Arthur and Reuben – the company seem to have cracked the code of how to make fashion stand out in a saturated marketplace: start with the concept, and design from there.
The Young Goat ethos emphasises confidence and empowerment. Starting with the term GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), the company seek to empower and embolden their customers at every turn.
Strength and collaboration are the common threads that knit the business together, a theme that is grounded in long term friendship, echoed by their choice of logo, and demonstrated by the company’s support for mental health charities.
We often ask what makes a new brand stand out in a field of established designers. Young Goat perfectly exemplifies how to do it. First: define your ethos (in this case inclusive clothing that empowers the wearer) – second: weave your ethos and values into every piece. Simple, right?
Q. What made you want to start your own brand?
Our case was somewhat unique in that we had conceptualized the brand before we even had a finished logo. We were just messing around while trying to create it, however, once we saw it on a mock-up hoodie that we had created, we were convinced that it was perfect: striking in its simplicity and something we would all wear. Fortunately for us, everyone who saw it agreed.
We began by making samples for ourselves and then we started to think about logistics and how to actually sell items. The overarching idea was:‘wouldn’t it be cool if people all over the world could appreciate this message as much as we do AND we could be wearing
that we had designed ourselves?’
Q. What is the significance of the term ‘Goat’ within your brand?
At university (where we all met), we used the term quite regularly… and we still use it today. Whether as a compliment, a superlative, or just as an adjective – we have always used the term to empower people. GOAT is an acronym for ‘Greatest Of All Time’. In the past it has been predominantly used to describe celebrities and sporting superstars, however, we’ve re-purposed it for wider application. We believe that the term can promote self-esteem and confidence in anyone.
Q. How would you describe the typical Young Goat customer?
As far as we’re concerned each of our customers is the GOAT in their own right: someone who is confident and goes out every day being the best they could possibly be. While the name Young Goat may suggest that our followers would be restricted by age (and animal), we actually have a wonderful array of different demographics who interact with us via Facebook, Instagram, email and the website. Our customers hail from over 30 countries and 6 continents. It just goes to show that anyone can be the GOAT.
Q. Your brand was built by six people. How do your skills and personalities complement each other?
A lot of people told us from the outset that 6 individuals running a single organisation would be overwhelming. ‘Too many chefs in the kitchen’ they said. However, we chose to look at the advantages of having group working together: the different talents, strengths, capacity and contacts have made it more than worthwhile for Young Goat.
It did take us some time to adapt, though, and there has been a lot of trial and error in the process. However, while we all have different personalities, we’ve known each other for a long time and there is a general understanding of how each one of us operates.
Q. What has been the biggest hurdle that you’ve had to overcome so far?
It’s too easy to say COVID-19 because it’s affected every person on the planet. The pandemic has definitely had an effect on what we do, however. It’s meant that we have had to delay the launch of our website, for one thing, but we’ve shown resilience in the face of it.
Our biggest hurdle has actually been purchasing power – the six of us have had to contribute our own money to the business (by obtaining loans within our friendship group, for example). However, our limited purchasing power has meant that the company has been limited in sampling size, stock order size and research and development capabilities (to name just a few things).
This has meant that we have only been able to grow at an incremental rate rather than at the high speed which we had the potential and following to do. However, despite this, we’ve continued to improve and expand since beginning to trade in 2019.
Q. If you could describe your aesthetic in five words what would they be?
This is tough one but the words that spring to mind are: empowering, bold, minimalist, inclusive and timeless.
I love the fact that you partner with mental health charities, is this an important part of your brand?
Highlighting the great things that our partners do is really crucial for us. We currently work with 3 charities and each one of them provides amazing services and support for so many in need. Young Goat will continue to execute initiatives with these partners and more new ones in the future.
Being able to raise awareness of mental health and spread positivity is at the foundation of what we do. If anyone would like to know more about this subject, I recommend they head to the Second Step, Off the Record and Black Minds Matter websites to learn more.
Q. What is the best advice you have received?
Several of our friends run businesses and have experience of scaling, rapid growth, major setbacks and the other occurrences which can take place along the way. So we have a good base of experience to draw on. It’s difficult to say what the best piece of advice has been so far,however, personally, ‘take calculated risks’ is really good advice.
Q. What are you counting down to?
I think everyone is counting down to the end of the pandemic but 2020 has also been a year of huge progress for Young Goat. We are really excited about what 2021 will bring and what we will bring to 2021.
Q. What’s next for your brand?
Despite the successes of our current clothing range, it is small and there is plenty more to add to it. The next few months will see the release of some new colours, new items and new designs as well as news of some brilliant collaborations, features and competitions. Our plan is to be even more active on more social platforms and to bring our clothing to even more countries around the world. So the idea is to keep growing and keep learning!
You can find out more about Young Goat here.
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