q+a with m.c. overalls founder JAMES SCROGGS

Head honcho of the wearable workwear brand chats music, mental health and great clothes with us

502: You have a strong direct to consumer aspect to your business and a small selection of great stockists. Do you envision global domination?

JS: Of course. But, as they say in the music industry, it can take 10 years to become an overnight sensation. You have to invest graft, craft, build your story, reasons to believe and sheer weight of talk-about. So, I feel the impetus to draw out some early fans first - whether it’s through our own retail or through independent stockists who have the strongest relationships with their customers. The brands that win in all sectors are those who put in the hard yards to nurture fans and earn their right for people to give a monkey about them. Frankly the world doesn’t need more clothes. They will connect with meaningful brands. But I think brands often think they can buy their way into people’s affections and leapfrog the need to solicit and reward a fanbase.

What are the best things that you've experienced having started the brand and has anything about the industry shocked you?

I consider myself a relative imposter in the fashion world. My background is not in fashion, rather what I consider adjacent industries (TV, Music, Tech etc). So it’s all new and therefore pretty thrilling, learning every single day on the job, working out how to make this business a success. And to be clear that is bloody hard... As an outsider, you intrinsically question the orthodoxies that from the outside might seem either self-serving or plain odd. Which doubtless means you take some different decisions that seem instinctive to you, but might fly in the face of fashion lore. I like to think all the skills we build up over our careers are transferable, but I am open to being proved blind wrong about some of my decisions...
What continues to amaze me is the relative conservatism of the fashion industry, behind the facade of adventure. Ultimately, fashion retail is not having the greatest time as people spend money on coffee, meals out etc. Understandably, retailers will continue selling and growing their inventory around what they know their customers already like, rather than feeling any compunction to broaden their tastes. Am not sure that repetition would ever wash in the tech space.

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