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Q&A: Will Rigg, brand director of Focus Group and founder of young fashion brand Fly53

Drapers gives you an exclusive sneak peak of our Close-Up interview with Will Rigg, brand director of Focus Group and founder of men’s young fashion brand Fly53, ahead of the full interview in this weekend’s edition.

Q: How did you originally get into fashion?

I studied design and textiles at university, but I had a record deal when I was at college so I went straight into that. I got into printing T-shirts for bands in the very early 90s – some of the bands we were printing T-shirts for got massive… we didn’t.

But we didn’t know anything about fashion, it was just about picking the guy with the coolest tattoos and selling him the T-shirts. Then going back six weeks later and selling him some more. It didn’t occur to us to repeat them or make the bestselling items again. We were very naïve.

Q: How have things changed?

The industry has changed beyond belief in the last 20 years. There has been a homogenisation of the high street and now there are far fewer independent stores.

Q: What’s your favourite indie?

One of my oldest independents near where we are based [in Hereford] has been a customer of mine for 15 years, called Jingo. He’s been there for 20-odd years and he’s great. He has an interesting big space, a lifestyle space. He covers lots of brands, from niche streetwear brands to more affordable fashion products. He has every base covered in a small town. Resurrection in Liverpool is also really good; it creates a point of difference and it has loyal followers.

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