Paul Famutimi, a student from Manchester, launched his ‘Cozy shop’ clothing line ‘Cozyvert’.
The clothing line is made for the ‘cosy introvert’ which was the inspiration and play-on-words for the brand name.
Paul explains how the brand name was created: “A lot of the people around me have the same sort of lifestyle, my friends, we’re all quite laid back and I thought that if there are people like that in my circle there are probably people like that within other circles, so the designs are meant to be like a play on words.”
Cozyvert originally started as a trainer resale business, it then progressed into a clothing brand earlier on this June with the clothing launch in October of this year.
Whilst juggling his third year at university, Paul has managed to create a clothing brand that appeals to all and particularly those who are more introverted and enjoy being cosy. He mentioned that he enjoys being creative and drawing so decided to project his art onto t-shirts.
The inspiration for Paul’s designs comes from many different sources, he explains: “Sometimes just a train of thought comes in, it’s creative, and creativity can’t be defined. There are loads of young people who are doing their own thing and designing out of passion and breaking through those barriers, I really enjoy drawing so why not?
“Religion is a huge part of being Nigerian, or African in general, whether you’re Muslim or a Christian , that’s where I got the idea for the ‘Noah’ t-shirt ‘fresh of the boat’. When I was young I had a bit of an accent from my first three years in Nigeria, it used to be a thing that I was ‘fresh off the boat’, now fresh has a different connotation, if you say someone’s fresh now it means they’re cool.”
Like many young people, Paul discusses his growth in confidence since being at university and how it has helped him to launch the brand and meet new people. Although at times he is forced to be confident because of his business, generally he would describe himself as an introvert.
“I’m just projecting myself and my experiences on my t-shirts, and I believe people can relate to it.”
When asking him about how he found the right models to wear his clothes, he thanks Instagram for making the process easier as well as having a lot of friends who were willing to help:
“Instagram is just like reading a newspaper, in the morning I have a little scroll and I’m thinking ‘who looks good?’. I found a lot of my models on there, the more people saw the kind of pictures I posted, and they started to get an idea of what the brand was like.
“It’s so easy to reach people, if you tell people you like the way they dress, they’re going to want to take pictures for you. Connections and contacts have really helped, I have a good network of friends who have helped along the way.”
2018 is set to be an exciting year for Cozyvert, Paul excitedly tell us about his upcoming pop-up store event that will be happening in February: “We’re trying to release a denim collection, I’m designing some jeans, jackets and a few special t-shirt designs, for the spring/summer collection 2018. Possibly some robes to emphasise the ‘cozy’ culture, that’s the plan for February.”
Setting up a business can prove to be difficult at times, as a soletrader, Paul talks about the logistics of setting up his own business and some of the difficulties he has faced:
“A lot of people set up clothing brands, but they disappear, this is definitely not a get rich quick scheme. I thought that having a goal made everything more solid and I had to make sure everything was legit, from copyright, to labels, to the website there’s a lot to think about.”
I asked which brands he would most like to collaborate with, he mentioned OFF WHITE, Nike, Vans, and Vivendi to name a few, it is clear Paul has a passion for fashion and wants to highlight the idea of being cosy but also looking good at the same time.
The future of Cozyvert has a lot to hold, with talks of more pop-up shops and permanent stores, Paul has a lot to be excited about:
“My dream is to eventually set up a flagship store in East London in Shoreditch, Brick Lane, they’re hipster-ish places, basically gentrified. East London is where I’m from, I love the culture, the people, atmosphere, community. I want to hire kids who are interested in fashion, to get them working and off the streets, I want to start working towards that before I graduate in terms of saving up.”
To keep updated with all things Cozyvert click here.