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Interview with 99 Percent Lifestyle magazine


STARTING A SUCCESSFUL FASHION BRAND WITH OSCAR MILLENNIUM

 THE FASHION BRAND AND THEIR HISTORY 

Oscar Millennium is a very new fashion brand, formed in mid-2015 by Tom Hoskin whilst studying at University. Whilst at University Tom Hoskin made friends who had skills in photography and web design, and with the combination of his marketing skills, everything was perfectly in place to begin this business venture.
I always like to question the meaning behind businesses’ names. Something that Stuart Flatt of Average Joes blog said to me was that the name of your business or blog isn’t that important, and he used the examples of Adidas and Nike to show that you can name your business whatever you like and turn it into a success. But behind every name, there is still a story and picking the perfect name can be very time-consuming. With 99 Percent Lifestyle, there is a story behind the name, but I will save that for another day.
Oscar Millennium is a name that was very important to Tom Hoskin. “I wanted a name that had a presence, but wasn’t so pretentious to use my own name as many other designers seem to do,” stated Tom.
The name Oscar is one of the most popular in England according to Tom and as his fashion brand has a focus on hand-made clothing from the UK, then this word resonated with him.
“Millennium was our statement word, as there has only been two millennium’s post AD. I wanted it to show the exclusivity of the brand. Millennium also represents the next generation of young ambitious designers.”
The quality of the clothing is an important factor to Tom, so much so, it’s the reason behind the brand’s minimalist approach to the clothing designs. “We believe the beauty is in the subtle finer details and so we focus on creating a garment with a perfect cut and tailored fit that true fashion enthusiasts can appreciate.”
The materials are clearly a huge part of this brand too; just one look at their website can prove this to anyone with how they explain that they “ethically source and manufacture only organic and sustainable cotton and bamboo cotton”. The website also goes into further detail about the benefits of bamboo cotton which you can read here.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND MARKETING 

Something that seems to be similar with all the clothing companies I speak to is that Instagram tends to be their number one source of traffic from all of the different social media platforms and Oscar Millennium is no different.
Instagram has been our biggest driver so far, it is a great way to tell our story and engage with our growing audience. Working with large menswear blogs, websites and popular menswear influencers has also further strengthened our validation and popularity.”
Facebook has also been a useful tool for Tom Hoskin and Oscar Millennium to engage with their audience. Their Facebook page also runs monthly competitions that then also lead to further exposure of the brand.
In terms of marketing the brand when they first started out, Tom told me how their main objective “was to simply tell a story”.
“We truly believe we have great products that people will love, and this has been proven by having such a high returning customer rate. Our unique selling point of using only high-grade organic and sustainable fabrics and partnering that with everything being hand-made in England is something our customers can truly believe in, buy into and support.”



THEIR BIGGEST CHALLENGE

 Overcoming challenges is a way we learn and get stronger, both individually and in terms of a business. Actually starting the company was Tom’s biggest challenge.

“Running a business is a big leap of faith but you have to believe in yourself, work hard and learn as much as possible. Before starting, I had no qualifications in fashion, so I read a lot and utilised my friends who taught me a lot in all areas of fashion and Photoshop.

It’s also a further challenge that Tom is currently still at University and is balancing studies with Oscar Millennium, but is something that he is doing with great success, being within the top 20 highest grades at his business school last year.

BUSINESS ADVICE

Learning is the key piece of advice Tom gave to me. “Learn; learn a lot, be it books, videos or people. As an entrepreneur, people are one of your greatest resources. I try and network as much as possible and through this I have made friends with successful business people who have taught me a lot.”

AND FINALLY

 Since starting, the focus of Oscar Millennium has been to grow the business naturally through their story and the quality of their products, but with their new collection soon to be released, Oscar Millennium will be expanding further with the brand set to start showing up in some major retailers.

Oscar Millennium is still in its infant years, but that fact the brand is at the stage it’s currently in (around a year since being set up) is inspiring for anyone looking to start a business. Tom Hoskin is still studying at university and has been able to build up Oscar Millennium into a well-established British menswear fashion brand in his spare time around his studies.

This proves to me that if you have a good idea, with enough passion behind it, you can find a way to make it work around the spare time you have left.

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” ― Farrah Gray (Tom Hoskin most memorable quote)

 

For anyone looking to purchase any of the products from Oscar Millennium then Tom Hoskin favourite product of theirs is the Oscar Millennium NO1 Print, but has a few more favourites that will be released in their upcoming new collection.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article about the clothing brand Oscar Millennium. There are some really good take-always from this article including the fact Tom Hoskins should be an inspiration to anyone reading with how he has established this brand whilst still in education.