Founder of streetwear brand Hoodrich set to become a millionaire after Iconix snaps up majority stake in business he started off from his bedroom a decade ago

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The founder of a Birmingham fashion label looks set to become a millionaire after his business was acquired by a US brand management company.

Jay Williams, 29, set up his firm Hoodrich in 2014, using £200 as a start-up to make 30 shirts that he sold from the boot of his car, managing all deliveries and orders himself for three and a half years.

Hoodrich went on become one of the fastest-growing streetwear brand in the UK, stocked by Foot Asylum and beloved by rappers including 50 Cent, Giggs and Birmingham stars Mist and Jaykae.

Iconix International has now acquired majority ownership of the brand, while Mr Williams will retain a controlling interest.

Its business operation will be led by Batra Group, a brand licensing and design company, while JD Sports will continue to act as a retail partner.

Jay Williams, 29, set up his label Hoodrich in 2014, using £200 as a start-up to make 30 shirts that he sold from the boot of his car, managing all deliveries and orders himself for three and a half years

Jay Williams, 29, set up his label Hoodrich in 2014, using £200 as a start-up to make 30 shirts that he sold from the boot of his car, managing all deliveries and orders himself for three and a half years

Hoodrich has become one of the fastest-growing streetwear brands in the UK, beloved by musicians including 50 Cent (pictured)

Hoodrich has become one of the fastest-growing streetwear brands in the UK, beloved by musicians including 50 Cent (pictured)

Iconix International has now acquired majority ownership of the brand, which Mr Williams will retain a controlling interest in

Its business operation will be led by Batra Group, a brand licensing and design company, while JD Sports will continue to act as a retail partner

Iconix International has now acquired majority ownership of the brand, which Mr Williams will retain a controlling interest in. Its business operation will be led by Batra Group, a brand licensing and design company, while JD Sports will continue to act as a retail partner.

In March last year, Hoodrich collaborated with Netflix's Top Boy to launch a capsule collection of hoodies and t-shirts in honour of its second series

In March last year, Hoodrich collaborated with Netflix’s Top Boy to launch a capsule collection of hoodies and t-shirts in honour of its second series

Mr Williams said: ‘I’m really excited about the future of Hoodrich and can’t wait to grow the brand internationally. 

‘I think this is the perfect partnership for Hoodrich and I’m looking forward to working alongside Iconix and Batra, who will be a major support system for the global growth of the brand.’

Hoodrich is already sold in more than 1,000 retail outlets in 24 countries. Under the partnership, headquarters will remain in Birmingham and Watford.

Bob Galvin, CEO at Iconix International, said: ‘The brand is extremely well positioned to capitalise on the growing demand for lifestyle streetwear with an authentic brand story. We are committed to bringing this high-quality brand to an even bigger global audience.’

For three a half years, the business was a one-man labour of love for Williams, of Erdington, West Midlands, who took orders in his bedroom and handled deliveries and customer queries himself.

But the brand’s big break came when Foot Asylum began stocking its clothes, leading to a surge in popularity. 

In March last year, Hoodrich collaborated with Netflix’s Top Boy to launch a capsule collection of hoodies and t-shirts in honour of its second series. 

The clothing was inspired by the gritty crime drama, set in the fictional Summerhouse estate of east London.

Hoodrich collaborated with Netflix's Top Boy to release a capsule collection last year

Hoodrich collaborated with Netflix’s Top Boy to release a capsule collection last year

Hoodrich has become a staple of the high street, stocked in Foot Asylum and JD Sports

Hoodrich has become a staple of the high street, stocked in Foot Asylum and JD Sports

Mr Williams previously told Birmingham Live: ‘For the first three years, I did everything on my own. From the picking up and dropping off of products, promotion, customer complaints, modelling for the brand and photographing the product. It was all me.

‘People would say the name ‘Hoodrich’ reinforced negative stereotypes but the brand represents coming from nothing to something – it represents my journey and resonates with those who have that same hunger to create something for themselves.

 ‘Hoodrich is all about transition. The word ‘hood’ is somewhere you are at in life and ‘rich’ is somewhere you aspire to be. I started out in my bedroom taking orders on WhatsApp and driving up and down the country to sell my shirts, I’ve lived through that transition.’

Daily Mail

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