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Posted on December 3, 2019 by staff

FinTech entrepreneurs launch men’s fashion business

An online men’s fashion business with deep tech knowhow has established its headquarters in Manchester.

Blake Mill creates ethically made apparel with designs spanning an eclectic range of themes and colours.

It is the brainchild of FinTech entrepreneurs Ken Price and Steve French, who realised they had a flair for creating ‘quirky yet meaningful designs that people loved’.

The duo was able to draw upon their expertise in complex data systems to understand consumer behaviour and predict buying patterns.

“We are committed to ethically creating the best shirts possible and are obsessed with the quality of all components of our shirts, including the collars, buttons, stitching, seams and prints,” said founding partner Price.

“Additional priorities of the team include plastic free packaging and excellent customer service.”

Its Burn Baby Burn shirt marks the recent 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11’s launch to the moon. The team translated NASA’s computer program for Apollo’s launch into binary code and embedded the design into the shirt.

Other range themes include Skulls’ N Roses, Circuit Board, Brainwave, Show Me the Money and Radioactive Paisley.

French and Price met at Toronto FinTech start-up Algorithmics where they grew the business tenfold in the first year and turned it from a loss leader to a significant profit centre.

French then ran a major Swiss bank’s global data warehousing before the duo launched data management company Avox.

Headquartered in Wrexham, the company maintained complex networks of data for global financial institutions including Citigroup, HSBC and Mizuho. They secured investment from the German stock exchange Deutsche Boerse before selling up to a New York-based financial institution.

They have chosen Manchester as the headquarters for their latest venture.

“Manchester is a vibrant, energetic city and we are delighted to have located our new headquarters here,” added Price.

“Manchester’s reputation as an important centre for business and as one of the most liveable cities in the UK make it the perfect fit for our company.

“We are looking forward to building our business here and to immersing ourselves in the spirit and culture of the city.”

Farooq Ansari has been appointed digital director of Blake Mill and is responsible for all digital implementation, including overseeing the platform, eCommerce and related underlying strategies.

Ansari has held senior roles at digital and ecommerce agencies including Space48, Reason and Zodiak Active.

He has also worked at the BBC in Manchester, where he was responsible for strategy, production and development across its websites and digital products.