I quit Cardiff University to start my own clothing line

I honestly couldn’t have wished for a better response


Meet Ewan Hillman, the two time university drop-out who successfully launched his own clothing brand THEO.

Ewan briefly attended Cardiff University and occupied his time with Computer Science and then Economics with Finance.  But now at 20-years-old Ewan has successfully began his own street wear clothing brand and unlike most of us, has never attended lectures and has barely been in the library in his short period at the university.

THEO started in February, and it now has 20 reps nationwide. It has just sold its 200th product, so we at the Tab Cardiff decided to speak to Ewan to learn a little bit more.

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Why did you quit university?

“12 weeks into the course, I had a mini-epiphany. Why spend another two years of my life studying when all I want to do is be my own boss and do something creative?

“I struggled to motivate myself to attend lectures and really just didn’t want to study, but would find myself staying up till 3am coming up with concepts for new designs.”

So, what gave you the idea to start a clothing brand?

“It all started about 2 years ago when I was on a photo-shoot for a brand me and a friend had started up. I started thinking about how there was a gap in the market for an underground street wear brand that was inspired by high fashion and minimalist design. This developed over the next year or so where I came up with the name THEO. The E logo that was inspired by a pretend company which was set-up to sell a website theme.”

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Why ‘THEO’?

“I actually get asked this question quite a lot. Theo is actually the nickname of my godson. He is a massive part of my life and I’m excited to have created a company in his honour. I wait for the day he can comprehend what I’ve done for him. Plus I just really like the way the letters looked together.”

Where is it sold?

“Currently, we are selling directly through our network of Brand Reps situated around the UK, but we also have an online store setup at http://shop.theoclothing.co.uk/

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What has the response been like?

“I honestly couldn’t have wished for a better response from our customers! People are always complimenting the quality of the items and their new favourite design.

“I find it so amazing that people have instantly become attached to something that started with me just playing around with Photoshop.”

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What’s your target market?

“Our products are aimed at your average student on a budget. We try to keep our costs affordable yet ensure the quality of our products are not affected.

“My dream is to be associated with the underground music scene and be the go-to brand for House fans and DJs alike.”

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Tell me about your event, ‘SYSTM’.

“So, SYSTM is where my vision becomes a reality. I started THEO with the main focus being a community based brand that promotes and celebrates local talent within the House/Techno scene.

“SYSTM is my vision of separating us from every other start-up clothing brand that just makes clothes. I want THEO to be recognised for its involvement within the Cardiff DJ community and what better way than to have a night promoting local DJs?”

When and where will it be?

“SYSTM is this Wednesday, 1st June, at Buffalo Bar, Cardiff. Tickets are £7 each but the first 50 purchased will come with limited edition THEO X SYSTM tees. DJs showcased include HighForThis, Varndell, FADE, MATIC and DJ Adam Crocker.”

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What do you hope to gain from this? 

“SYSTM for me is a chance to celebrate our successful brand launch and to put our mark on Cardiff nightlife. It will give people the opportunity to see more than just the clothes and gives some local DJs the opportunity to establish themselves.”

Tickets can be bought by clicking here.