Nigel Clare expands menswear offer as 20th birthday nears

Lancashire premium menswear indie Nigel Clare will celebrate its 20th birthday by hosting a special customer event with selected partner brands in November.

Founder Nigel Clare’s eldest son, Chris, has also revealed plans to develop and expand his premium sportswear label Chris Clare, as the family looks for ways to grow the business.

Nigel Clare founded the eponymous premium formalwear store at 14 High Street in Chorley in 1995 and opened a men’s casualwear store with the same name at 10 High Street two years later.

Another two years later he acquired the building in between to expand and connect the two stores. He acquired an existing womenswear business in the town called Maidens in 2000.

Chris runs the casualwear store, while Nigel and his youngest son, Richard, manage the formalwear store. Nigel’s sister, Sue Bates, looks after Maidens.

Nigel Clare said: “We’ve had some ups and downs but managed to sustain the business over all this time. We had a record year last year and we’re currently on track to smash that this year.”

The initial 15-piece Chris Clare collection launched for spring 15 in March and is stocked in the casualwear store and online. It includes sweatshirts, hoodies, T-shirts and joggers priced between £25 and £65.

“It has become one of the best performing labels and for autumn 15 it will all be made in the UK [the current collection is made in India],” said Chris Clare.

“By spring 16 it will be extended to around 25 pieces, including tailored swim shorts, training shorts and vests, and I plan to look for agents to wholesale to other independents.”

Richard Clare launched a website to promote the corporate clothing side of the business, which includes workwear for the hospitality sector, at the end of last year.

Richard said: “We have always supplied workwear for businesses such as car garages, healthcare companies, the hospitality sector and Blackburn Rovers Football Club, but we wanted to focus on it more so we launched the Clare Corporate website.”

He also introduced the Brook Taverner brand of suits for both men and women as an entry-level label last year. The offer now ranges from Brook Taverner suits starting at £100 up to £1,500 suits from Italian menswear label Pal Zileri. Nigel Clare said: “I’m proud that my sons are involved to help drive the next phase of growth for the business.”