How ‘Cloney’ Used Instagram & Celeb Love To Launch A Streetwear Brand
Duke Christian George III wouldn’t claim to know fashion. He didn’t study in New York or intern with some tyrannical designer in Milan. His stock in trade isn’t his impeccable seams or salvaged fabric. Duke’s expertise is simpler than all that: He knows what’s cool. And — as the fledgling designer has quickly discovered — knowing what’s cool can be the best skill of all.
“I like to make dope stuff,” George says, sitting i n his converted garage, which has become the headquarters of his streetwear brand, Cloney. “I can’t predict ifyou’ll like it. There’s no way to do that. But even if you don’t, I still think it’s dope.”
That philosophy is exactly how George launched his company. He came up with an idea, found a printer, made a shirt he liked, and sent it around to a few famous people. The next thing he knew Alessandra Ambrosio had been photographed in the shirt and his vague idea for a clothing line rocketed into the stratosphere.
“It’s just kinda snowballed instantly,” George says with a laugh. “I’d been taking this hobby approach and suddenly it was a full-fledged business.”
That original pattern has become Cloney’s business model. Celebrities get fresh gear, they wear it, people obsess, they seek out Cloney, sales are made. No advertising. Just a guy making cool stuff, sending it for free to cool people, and hoping they think it’s cool too.