When Tom Codd graduated in Fashion Design, after spending his final year in complete solitude, he felt as though the only thing he could do was to start TCLDN, which he’d been working on for a total of nine years. Now a free man, it felt natural for Tom to find his own creative space and to continue working on his label.
“I felt the collection had a niche appeal but a commercial retrospective” explains Tom. The brands signature style was the British subculture of the cuts, attention to detail and formidable tartan. People instantly became familiar with the story and found it accessible to like and wear. After such a positive reaction, Tom began to approach small boutiques, one of which included ASOS marketplace. Not only did Tom have something new and fresh, TCLDN was the first menswear brand on there. “We got lots of press attention and customer traffic, this was vital to the brands start up and evolution” – Tom Codd.
One of the most successful pieces was the TCLDN icon prints, which ranged from idolized rebel profiles like James Dean and The Kray twins on crew neck tees or razor back vests. As the years went on and collections developed, the brand remained true to who it was and the signature style stayed the same.
After four years on ASOS marketplace, the site had become saturated with vintage boutiques and TCLDN had become lost among the bedroom sellers. With sales still strong, Tom held ASOS as the pinnacle to where his brand could and would sit. “I needed to get on there to fulfill my brand objective” he explains. So with some digging and general searching for ASOS menswear buyers, he got the attention of Maria Cassidy. “I am still so grateful for her replying to my message and asking to see me and my current collection.” After a face-to-face meeting, they both decided on a run of 14 styles.
Tom knew the demand for the product would explode and it did. As soon as TCLDN launched on ASOS, the general interest in the label increased; independent boutiques were eager to stock pieces and press wanted to feature the lines too. “I took it and made it happen; it was the Holy Grail for me to be on there.”
But this would be the only line they worked on together.
The collection sold well and products needed to be replenished; but the turnaround was longer than ASOS needed. A demand for new styles and more stock, with a longer invoice time mentioned would only be crippling for the business. The brand gets bigger and so does the business. “I was at peace and knew I had exhausted all the enthusiasm you have to have to run your own business”.
The fight had gone. Tom had achieved his goal, but realized to sustain it. He needed to invest. “It would not just be my baby anymore,” TCLDN going forward would need rebranding and trend development. “I had ridden the Shane Meadows - This is England hype so much and the industry had moved on, but I was and still am true to me.”
He didn’t want to pander for anyone, change his ways and certainly not his brand. “TCLDN is the best portfolio I could ever build or create and I'm very proud of the label and what was achieved.”