WORDS BY JOSEPH FURNESS
George Heaton is more than just a fashion designer – he’s an idol. The young British entrepreneur inspires his 120,000+ Instagram followers in almost every way imaginable: his everyday style is impeccable; his ‘bleisure’ trips across the globe are enviable; his fitness regime is second to none; and his contemporary approach to running a business is manifestly efficacious. But, like Rome, George's utopic lifestyle wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Represent, his luxury streetwear label. It's taken the steadfast innovator a decade of hard work to reach the point he’s presently at – a point his younger self aspired to reach.
In 2012, George founded Represent alongside his brother Michael in their hometown of Horwich, Greater Manchester. The idea to form a brand came about after the siblings relished the process of designing logo t-shirts for the purpose of George’s graphic design degree. Swiftly, they turned the humble university project into a viable business, which eventually blossomed into the established fashion label we know today, one that counts Machine Gun Kelly, Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa and Quavo as customers.
We recently spoke with George to learn about his journey to success, motivations and vision for the future. Discover everything he had to say below.
What initially inspired you to venture into fashion?
As a teenager, I was fascinated by graphic tees designed by the likes of Obey and Diamond Supply, to such a great degree that I would watch YouTube videos centred on the founders of such brands. Eventually, these business-minded creatives inspired me to develop my artistic vision and, in turn, establish my own label.
Tell us a little bit about your journey up until now.
How do I summarise the last ten years of my life?! Let me say this: it’s been a whirlwind. There have been ups and downs, and the low points taught me a lot and forced me to grow. It’s all led up to this moment in which Represent is in a great position.
What is the vision for Represent?
The mission is to create the best brand in the world.
What advice would you give someone looking to start their own brand?
Read and listen to as many brand builder books as possible. Understand the authors as your mentors – they will guide you to make the right decisions.
Do you have a muse?
There are so many inspirational humans that I think about whilst I’m creating. I find that having various muses keeps the mind open.
How have you managed to stay so focused?
I stay focused because I have a primary aim. I aim to be the man behind the best brand in the world. I still have a long journey ahead, but I’m extremely determined.
Is there an axiom you live by?
There are a few, but my favourite has to be, ‘Excellence is the long and gradual result of always wanting to improve’.
How have you been able to navigate your way through the fashion industry whilst remaining true to yourself?
It's hard to start small – to be up against established brands in stores and at fashion week – but I’ve always been focused on my mission. It’s paramount to believe in yourself and your brand.
Which Represent pieces are you most proud of?
It's got to be the Owners Club Hoodie in Cobalt Blue because it takes inspiration from the British automotive industry. Our Owners Club pieces are simple yet meaningful and are selling immensely well.
If you could only wear one Represent piece for the rest of your life, which one would you pick?
I'm going to say our Tailored Tracksuit Pant that's due to launch in a few weeks. I’ve been wearing samples almost every day straight for the last six months.
Which Represent items would you recommend to someone looking to rebuild the foundations of their wardrobe?
Great question. My design approach is informed by my desire to depend solely on Represent apparel. In other words, I seek to build an entire wardrobe consisting of pieces for all kinds of occasions.
I would say the most essential Represent pieces that might be of interest to someone looking to rebuild the wardrobe foundations are the 247 Pant, the Core T-Shirt, the Owners Club Hoodie and the Apex Sneakers.
Which new season pieces are you looking forward to seeing people sport over the coming months?
I'm super excited to launch our brand-new summer collection brimming with colour, swim fabrics and novel details. The feedback we’ve received so far has been incredible.