From printing t-shirts in a workshop and selling them to friends at university to billing 2.5 million euros. This has been the evolution in just over two years of Nude Project, an online urban fashion brand, founded by Bruno Casanovas and Álex Benlloch, two 21-year-olds. His garments connect, above all, with the young public and in his own agora, social networks.
“We were both studying marketing. And what we were very clear about was that we wanted to do something that was more than a brand”, recalls Casanovas about his beginnings, sitting next to Benlloch, on the other side of the screen. “We both loved content and Instagram, lifestyle, how to communicate… It was our passion. And we were clear that we wanted to build on that. That it was our differential point ”.
The two founders met in Madrid through mutual friends, although Benlloch had already been following Casanovas on Instagram for some time. They saw that they had a lot of affinity and a month after they met they started the project. “The process of going from idea to reality was very fast,” recalls Casanovas.
He put himself at the forefront of design. “Even though I didn’t study fashion, I was passionate about it. I always had that idea: if I made the clothes it would be much more this and more this”, recalls this man from Madrid. “I never found a brand that 100% made the clothes that Álex and I would like to wear.”
They began to sell clothes on the web and for a year and a half they combined the project with their education. “Until suddenly we blinked and we already had eight workers. And then I had to tell my mother, and Bruno his, that this could be so much more,” recalls Benlloch. The challenges, they say, have been a constant. “Everything happened so fast that you almost forgot,” says Casanovas. “The whole issue of clothing production and fashion has involved a lot of learning. And we are still there, to this day, which is one of the biggest challenges we have”, he confesses.
Portugal and Turkey
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
Currently, sweatshirts and t-shirts are made in Portugal and Turkey. The outer garments, in China. His intention is, however, to bring all the production closer to Spain. With this, they seek greater ease when reviewing the manufacturing in person if necessary, an extra quality and avoiding logistical complications. “We are at a point in the brand where we are growing so fast that we place an order and it sells out. We don’t have time to do the next one, it takes months to arrive and that’s our problem”, says Benlloch.
60% of its business is in Spain and 40%, mainly, in Europe. “We are lucky that it has been very easy for our brand to leave Spain,” says Casanovas. The streetware style, they say, is more normalized in other European countries like Germany or England and they have been able to reach that audience organically through Instagram and other platforms.
“We have generated profits from day one,” says Benlloch. “Because it is the model we have opted for from day one, [hacerlo] with own resources. So we have no choice but to be profitable”, says this man from Burgos. “For now, it is the one we are going to continue with and we do not need investment, at least for the near future,” says Casanovas.
The Nude Project team is currently made up of ten people. “Our philosophy has always been to try to surround ourselves with partners where we can outsource most of the functions,” says Benlloch. People with more years and experience in their respective fields. “It ends up giving us a lot of value and makes us learn as founders, which, after all, being so young, is what we need: to learn from each area.”
Among its plans is to open its first two establishments this year, in Madrid and Barcelona. In addition, they hope to replicate the pop-up stores that opened in both cities in other European cities, such as Amsterdam or Berlin. They have recently joined Hawkers in their first collaboration with another firm.