Aidan Clarke: From neckties to apparel
Fri 7 September 2018 - 12:26 pmEntrepreneur | Featured | Profiles
Aidan Clarke is the Co-founder and CEO of Melbourne based apparel brand SA1NT and is the founder of successful athletic apparel brand 2XU. You could say that Clarke is really making his mark in the apparel space.
SA1NT created the world’s strongest single layer denim (up to 200x stronger than regular denim, and offering 75 metres slide distance protection for riders), with the aim of creating clothing that offers the highest level of protection without compromising on aesthetics.
Since then, the brand has evolved to include workwear and women’s clothing, with over 90k Instagram followers and celebrity fans that include Eric Bana, Jai Courtney and Kate Peck.
Dynamic Business spoke to Clarke about how his business came about and new exciting plans for the startup.
After a hot summer ride on bikes, Clarke and his team started to discuss products that could be more fashionable and potentially single layer, without compromising safety. “The options back then were either thick leathers or hot and uncomfortable jeans lined in a secondary layer of protective material. The idea for a single layer safety denim [came about] and the foundation for SA1NT was hatched!”
SA1NT is an apparel brand specialising in super tough single layer denim. Its patent pending fabrics utilise space age yarns (such as Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethelyne) that deliver incredible gains in strength and abrasion resistance.
“Our moto fabrics can slide down the road for up to 5.9 secs without tearing, and our workwear fabrics represent around 500% tougher than most standard cotton, polyester and nylon competitors. We blend a stylish element of design with tough function and protective performance,” said Clarke.
Clarke has always loved the idea of producing products with a value proposition, a point of difference, and a brand story. He started in 1989 at the age of 17 making his own line of neckties, and selling them door to door to businessmen.
Clarke believes social media has great power in a business’s success.
“Great social content and building international followers has been a primary way to develop brand awareness and our own marketplace. The new age of social platforms and digital advertising (with immediate success statistics) are a wonderful tool for emerging companies to come to market,” says Clarke.
“Content is everything – authenticity creates followers. You need to understand your brand position and post accordingly. Who are you, what do you stand, and how do you communicate that?”
Clarke said one of the biggest challenges was delivering the promise of delivering the world’s first CE rated single layer safety denim.
“This took a lot more resource and time than we imagined. In fact we were two years and two million dollars into SA1NT before we created the first CE motorcycle denim. We got through this period with a combination of passion, resilience and blind faith,” he said.
Watch this space as the business will be growing the WORKS range, bringing to market new MOTO garments, and launching into some great accessories.