Entrepreneur Michael Owen passionately believes a splash of red will make you feel more confident.

We think he’s on to something. Three years ago, the entrepreneur – who has worked in professional design for 20 years - launched Always Wear Red, the online luxury menswear brand selling red clothing accessories in cashmere, merino wool, lambswool and leather. Today, Michael talks about insecurities, his own desire to be more confident and the thing nobody tells you about setting up an online business.

I/we came up with the idea when... I was in a bar on a cold 2015 Valentine’s Day. A guy skipped past the window. He had a red umbrella. Heads turned in the bar and people smiled. This guy seemed irresistibly confident. That moment changed everything for me. I know how confident an amazing piece of clothing can make you feel. The ‘red umbrella moment’ clarified my opportunity. At that very moment, I decided to create a clothing brand that made people look amazing, feel amazing – then do amazing. I launched Always Wear Red exactly one year after the initial idea – on Valentine’s Day 2016.



The biggest challenge is... remaining patient. People are not just buying from Always Wear Red; they are buying into Always Wear Red as well. We need to help people understand what we believe in. We need to tell our story, over and over again. That takes time. We are expensive because our collections are unbeatable. We have had only one item returned in almost three years; we know our pieces are amazing and that people love them.

The average day is spent... storytelling and having conversations with customers. We learn so much from our customers and followers on social media. We are constantly developing and refining new pieces for our collections. Each piece can take one year to develop, then eight weeks or more to make.

The team consists of... Michael, our co-founder and lead designer; Lisa, our co-founder and Head of Operations; Charlotte, a Fashion Communication undergraduate and Alex who is our visual storyteller (videographer and photographer).

Our/my favourite quote... Buy less, buy better. Eighty per cent of all clothing is almost hardly ever worn by its owner. This must change.

I am who I am because of... my insecurity and vulnerability. I have to go for perfection. I don't want any gaps. Any weaknesses. We knit from only 9% of the world's cashmere because over 91% is just not good enough. We have to be the best.



The best advice I've been given... Live each day as if it were your first. Be inquisitive. Be endlessly curious. Embrace not knowing all the answers and dive into each day wanting to be better than you were yesterday.

In five years I'd like to be... CEO of a much bigger Always Wear Red which will be a brand known globally for the creation of confidence in the wearer.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... Don't try to look for people who want to buy what you are selling. Look for people that believe what you believe. That way, you will build a loyal community. They love what you love. They will buy from you and tell others to buy from you too. Oh, and everything takes longer and costs more than you think!

The websites I most frequently use are... Linkedin for storytelling and powerful conversations; I also use global fashion portals. I have to understand what's going on in the world of fashion and clothing. I learn what to do - and what not to do.



Our biggest mistake and what it taught us… doubting ourselves, not going with our gut, and asking too many people what they think. These things bring about self-doubt. And negative self-talk. Waiting for the right time to do something and procrastinating can be damaging.

What apps do you use to be more productive... Errr, we don't. Google calendar keeps us organised.

The most rewarding experience we've had to date... When our customer Shaughn in London talks about how much more gregarious he is wearing our BLOOD Baker Boy cap.

I’m excited about… extending our BLOODLINE collection from a single product (one belt) to two belts, two wallets and one coin purse. called BLOODLINE for two reasons. It is made out of black leather with beautiful blood red thread; and also because the quality is so good that these items should be handed down the bloodline, father to son. Last year’s belts were so successful (half sold before they were made!) that we have added to the range. All are handmade in Britain, limited edition (just 10 of each) and are available from mid November 2018.

November 2018