A bit about what makes Boden, Boden
Contrarian. How else would you describe a man who left a good job in the city – working in New York during its shiny ’80s heyday no less – to set up a mail-order clothes company at a time when buying things that got delivered was considered a bit, well, joke-worthy? Or was he just lucky – right time, right place, right instinct?
Johnnie launched Boden with a hand-drawn catalogue featuring eight menswear styles he wanted in his own wardrobe (and wanted to order from his armchair). That was 1991, and back then, catalogues for stylish people who like stylish clothes weren’t really a ‘thing’ in Britain.
Today, after a wild, unpredictable and exciting 30 years, Boden is a global company but it still has the same family vibes. It’s the opinion of the women in his life – his wife Sophie (who pushed him to follow his dream in the first place), his three discerning daughters and Johnnie’s feisty female sidekick – Sprout the dog – that he values over anything.
"Bode isn't about fast fashion and fads.It never was."
Originality is also so very important, with every step taken to set Boden apart from the rest. Whether that’s hand-drawn prints, doing our best to make sure we don’t cut corners and even listing words we cannot use (we copywriters love a challenge). Attention to detail is everything, and it shows. Johnnie has also been adamant that every factory we use respects its workforce in the same way he respects his workforce at home. And that Boden uses as many recycled materials as possible.
“His main piece of advice is always be yourself,” Katie adds. “I think we’re all flawed but that’s the one thing that we [the family] are – very honest. I just think you can’t go wrong by being honest.” And lastly? “He’s also never tried to be cool…which makes him cool.”
Boden isn’t about fast fashion and fads. It never was. It’s about making clothes that put a smile on your face, for a long, long time.