While many fashion designers find themselves competing for retail space in fashion stores and boutiques, one man has found a novel way to take his designs beyond eCommerce and into the physical world. Introducing the Concept Box, launched in July by independent brand Sneaker Club Clothing in collaboration with Bene Culture. We caught up with founder Ant Douglas to find out what’s up.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, a “mobile concept store” is basically a fashion boutique in a van. However, it’s far from a temporary fly by night project. Although it’s early days, Douglas is committed to turning the idea into a long term success. That’s reflected in his unique approach.

A Mobile Experience

In addition to handmade current and past season offerings from the label, visitors will be able to buy exclusive items only available from the store. The range of clothing on offer will also keep changing , meaning shoppers are guaranteed a unique experience.

Currently the van can be found at Birmingham’s Custard Factory every Saturday throughout the summer, but Douglas is already planning a UK-wide tour in collaboration with independent stores from cities across the country.

Douglas says that the mobile store will not only offer fashion, but live music and lifestyle goods. This is more in line with his original vision for Sneaker Club as not just a fashion brand, but a lifestyle. The move is definitely an unorthodox one – how many labels are travelling around the country in a van? – but it’s starting to make sense. The label’s director has control over how his products are displayed, can set up without paying high rent and is able to export the Sneaker Club experience anywhere in the UK.

Further collaboration could also open up doors for other independent labels wanting to get their clothes sold and worn in other cities.

“I really dislike being the same as anybody else. There are some great clothing brands out there but my end goal differs from theirs. The van is just the start of the left turn for Sneaker Club.”

What else does the future hold for Ant Douglas on the road less traveled? The man is down-to-earth in his answer: more hard work, more progress and more of the handmade goodness, music and collaboration that make up the soul of Sneaker Club. He says that no matter what, there will always be a next.

Want to know more? As mentioned before, the Sneaker Club Concept Box can be found every Saturday at the Custard Factory in Birmingham, but for further details and to find out when Ant is coming to your city you can follow the brand on Facebook and Instagram (@sneakerclubuk). Or if you can’t make it down, you can always just buy his clothes the old-fashioned way: on his internet site.

To find out more about Birmingham's Creatives go to http://www.new-urban.co/

Photography by Valdez The Photographer.

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