(l-r) Julie Blackie, James and Nikki
A director from the leading fashion firm has helped Gateshead designer James Boyle launch his own independent online streetwear store.
A Newcastle independent online streetwear store has launched in Newcastle with the backing of one of the UK’s most successful fashion entrepreneurs.
The Paradice brand is the brainchild of designer James Boyle from Gateshead who was born deaf and uses a cochlear implant to help him to hear.
With British Sign Language being his native language, James was constantly undermined and told he wouldn’t succeed due to his disability.
He had a difficult time at school and had to work extra hard to catch up on his studies which affected his confidence and self-belief.
Now however, with the help of his sister Nikki and Julie Blackie from online fashion giant Pink Boutique, the future is looking good.
He initially discovered his massive potential when he created tie-dyed t-shirts to sell in order to fund a place at university.
He sold-out within hours and realising that he had a passion and talent for design. He then sacrificed his university place to follow his dreams helped by his entrepreneurial sister Nikki.
Together the dedicated duo forged their brand, sourced UK suppliers and collaborated with some of the biggest names in fashion who were quickly convinced by their vision and commitment.
One such name was globally-successful Pink Boutique from Newcastle which has worked closely with the brother and sister team offering financial assistance, office space and guidance when required.
Director Julie Blackie said: “I love the enthusiasm and design flair of James and Nikki. They have developed a brand that is stylish yet inexpensive and will form a very niche and influential part of the fashion market.
“I recognised their talent but realised that they needed extra support in marketing their clothing and general business acumen.
"I can’t help seeing a similarity in how Pink Boutique started life with a small amount of cash and big ideas. I’m delighted to help them in any way I can and believe that they will experience the same success that we have.”
When designing his clothing, James takes inspiration from a multitude of influences from his life including club and rave culture, festivals, 70’s interior design, elements of the DJ lifestyle and outdated technology.
His designs all include the distinctive Paradice trademark dice motif, precisely chosen fabrics and boast a sharp appearance that he believes will project the brand right the way to the top.
Music is also an important influence on James’s designs. Due to his deafness, James feels and sees music rather than hearing it.
He is also a big mover and shaker in social media with more than 70,000 Facebook likes and around 250,000 social media followers.
He said: "With my clothing range, my inspiration and ideas actually thrive on nostalgia and the way art and the rave scene made and continues to make people to feel. I’m interested in taking sentimental history and making it contemporary, but still keeping the sentiment.
“Our brand takes the wearer on a trip back in time to moments that really mattered and which unified generations regardless of race, sexual preference, age, religion, gender or disability.
“The current collection is aimed at a particular type of man - a man who lives his life in the spirit of both the 80s and 90s - a time of free thinking, expanding horizons and limitless possibilities. Paradice takes this message and transforms it into clothing that defines a man in search for the hedonistic lifestyle.”