Born in late 2013, Manière de Voir was created by Reece Wabara, bringing a vision of sleek urban style and sports luxe to a wide audience in an impressive space of time. From its beginnings, Manière de Voir went on to prove its quality and worldwide appeal with a £1mil turnover within the first year of launching. With photographer Matthew Comer, the lifestyle and contemporary edge of Manière de Voir comes to the streets of LA in an unreservedly fashion-forward shoot. Schön! sits down with Reece Wabara to find out more about the story of Manière de Voir.
How did Manière De Voir come to be? What decided you to launch the brand?
Hi! I’ve always enjoyed fashion and take an interest in what I wear. I started Manière De Voir after my best friend Lewis Morgan was building his brand Gymshark. He was 18 months into his company and suggested I should start my own fashion brand. At first I was dismissive, but after looking into brand names and wanting to incorporate my vision I chose Manière De Voir, which means ‘Way of Seeing’ in French. It’s been just over a year and the success we’ve had has been great and inspires me for what’s to come in the future.
The growth and success of the brand has been impressive – did you anticipate such a rapid expansion? What made the success of the brand, do you think?
I always believed in the concept of the brand and have always thought that if you’re going to do something, aim big! The growth of the brand has been incredible; nearly everywhere I go I see people wearing Manière De Voir. I think the success has come from giving people who desire contemporary trend-led fashion and designs with an extra MDV touch at an attainable price. My vision has a lot more to offer and hopefully this is just the start.
The brand has developed an impressive following – is this relation with social media an important asset to Manière De Voir?
Definitely. Interacting with our customers is a crucial part of the brand, without them there is no us. We aim for high social engagement through showcasing our new releases, competitions and fashion bloggers who style Manière pieces. We love to listen to our customer, knowing what they would like us to create and encourage them to get involved online.
How did you make the transition from sports to fashion design? Were there evident links between the two?
Not necessarily, from a young teen I always wanted to dress cool and have always been into my personal style. Having not studied fashion design I took it upon myself to learn and teach myself new skills. I’ve learnt a lot of the Adobe programs and relevant software from YouTube tutorials and applied it to the brand. Everyday I’m looking for new things to learn, to help take the company forward.
The designs comprise evident sports luxe inspired pieces – is the functionality and comfort of sportswear a founding principle of Manière De Voir?
Yes, I’m always travelling and wanted to create a comfortable tracksuit, with added detailing that defined casual but you still felt smart. Our first tracksuit collections were designed with soft cotton and luxurious leather with gold embroidered logo detailing. Unexpectedly, it sold really well from day one, I think people always want to look good but be comfortable at the same time, and the extra attention to detail goes a long way.
You work a lot with modern textiles – from neoprene to mesh. How do you keep the brand contemporary and urban?
I’ve always made it Manière’s motto that when we design products we must choose materials that standout in the way they feel and look. With the design team and myself, we are constantly seeking luxe fabrics and high quality detailing that will set Manière apart from other brands. We receive positive customer feedback on how high quality our pieces are and how they enjoy the shopping experience from purchase to delivery. Our aim is to ensure our customers feel like they’re getting so much more for their money.
How did the collection of Virtue sneakers come about? What does the range include?
Honestly, I’m a trainer fanatic and felt that there was no in-between price point for trainers out there, particularly within menswear. It was either 60-pounds or in excess of 350-pounds and I wanted to create a limited edition trainer that was luxurious and well made, at half the price of what you would pay for designer. Therefore ‘Virtue’ was born!
The Virtue collection is crafted from genuine leather and hand-cut snake embossed scales. The vision for the trainers was somewhat a gamble with where they would sit in the market but they also felt like a natural next step for Menswear. The risk has paid off and we’ve had a great response to the collection and hopefully we will have the same success with our Womenswear trainer, releasing later on in the year.
Our new exclusive Virtue sneakers in luxurious velvet are arriving online in 3 colour ways at the end of May. I’m in love with them!
Who wears Manière De Voir? Who would you like to see wear the designs?
Celebrities, Sports Stars and top Fashion Bloggers have worn Manière De Voir. This is always exciting and humbling; however, I don’t think a brand should be judged on how many famous people have worn it. Manière De Voir is for everybody and I want to be able to cater to every type of person in the future. I find it really satisfying when people who have complete opposite styles and personality hashtag us; it shows the flexibility of the brand.
What decided you to expand into swimwear? What will the swimwear line include?
A lot of brands sell wholesale swimwear with a logo stamped on it and I wanted an authentic range that provides our female customer with in-house designed swimwear that they can’t get anywhere else. Ultimately our designers are focusing on material, silhouettes and presentation, the result is a swimwear range, offering contemporary, monochromatic styles with a sultry edge.
Finally, how would you like to see Manière De Voir evolve? What comes next?
My vision for the brand is big, I want Manière De Voir to be the go-to brand firstly in Europe and then hopefully worldwide!
We want our customers to feel part of the brand and know they will acquire detailed designs, concept pieces and well-sourced materials at an attainable pricepoint. Womenswear is still growing and is a focus for us in the future, with more new releases arriving at the end of the month. An exciting concept piece we have is The Women’s Reflective Two-Piece. It illuminates in the light and has a matte grey finish when not lit, with perforated mesh and zip detailing. I’ve never seen anything like this available to women before and want to capture our female audience with stand-out pieces.
In the future we have plans to create everything that’s style orientated, from a tailored range to a sports-luxe gym range.
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