How did Hera London start?
The official story is Uni drop-out Ash White was overdrawn working at Vodafone and set-up the clothing brand Hera London, named after the Greek Goddess. In October 2014 the company was incorporated, and the website launch in April 2015.
Like always with successful brands, there is a bit of luck involved and having the right product at the right time. Young men could not buy men’s skinny jeans and were forced to buy women’s, and Ash saw an opportunity to get men’s skinny jeans into the market. He ordered 3 pairs of black jeans; ripped, non-ripped and ripped repaired.
Ash openly admits that he lied about his ability to finance his designs of 300 pair of skinny ripped jeans he had in production. Left with £25k of invoices and banks rejecting him, he eventually persuaded his parents to remortgage their house to help him get his jeans delivered, get his website up and pay Gary Beadle of Geordie Shore to be the face of his brand.
Gaz Beadle in Hera London April 2017You are probably aware Gaz Beadle started 11 Degrees in 2014 and it seems he had agreed and signed a contract to be the face of Hera London before that took off. This was Hera’s break as Gaz’s profile saw immediate interest and demand in his product, although the price point was high at £100 which put would-be consumers off.
He reduced to a more affordable £50, but it was when Gaz’s Geordie Shore castmates Scotty T and Aaron Chalmers asked for samples and wore them too that things started to take off. Ash expanded to other reality stars in TOWIE, Made in Chelsea and Ex on the Beach.
After Gaz’s contract expired, Ash turned to Sik Silk Model Leon Scott to be the face of the brand on an exclusive contract and likely on a percentage deal he could not turn down. Knowing that the model influenced him to buy the Streetwear label, White was confident his profile would get the right attention.
After initialling exploring the wholesale route with Sik Silk’s agent UK68, Ash decided to stick with direct to consumer knowing his influencer marketing model was working, and this eventually led to turning down ASOS, Footasylum, Topshop and the wholesale route.
How did Hera London become successful?
I asked myself this exact question in 2016 as there were just 3 colourway T-Shirts with the same standard Hera Logo. The brand was everywhere on my social media and it seemed there was a lot of money being thrown at influencers.
I eventually managed to ask one of their ambassadors in an interview with Ross Warwick. He confirmed that he had signed a contract to wear Hera on his social media like others including Chet Sket, Leon Scott, Abs Bowen, Alex Cannon and many more.
I guess you can point to Ash’s cany ability to spot a good influencer and get them to sign contracts with offers they could not refuse, but ultimately it was the skinny jeans demand that made that route even possible. Scotty T wore his Hera London jeans in the big brother house which again saw high exposure which helped drive them forward.
The road to success was not smooth with a legal battle with Levi’s over trademarks, and Ash turned down a multi-million-pound offer from Superdry for a share of the brand. There was also another legal battle with a supplier that almost destroyed the business.
There was good news, of course, he did eventually go into partnership with Selfridges in 2017 though, and bought that long sought after Lamborghini.
Hera London clothing
Fast forward 3 years and Hera is still going strong selling ripped jeans and denim, t-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, tracksuits and outerwear.
Is Hera a good brand?
Yes, the product is of good quality and the brand work hard on their customer service. But the brand is still tainted by an issue with a supplier who provided poor quality stock on items that were already presold.
There are plenty of more recent reviews for Hera London that are complimentary which are more relevent. You can find plenty of happy customers on their instagram handle of @Hera and with the hashtag #heralondon.
Ash White sells shares in Hera
On February 17th 2021, Ash posted on his personal Instagram that he was offering an investment opportunity. He stated he would be selling 10% equity and offering his loyal customers the first option.
This could be a shrewd publicity stunt, or a genuine attempt to give back. But does smack of desperation and perhaps is a sign of the brand struggling to pay for the new Spring Summer 2021 product? This is backed up as the entire site is on sale. It would not surprise me if they are struggling with a lack of demand, as the products are pretty much the same as they’ve always been.
The brand Instagram is still full of Ross, Chet, Leon and the same influencers. Has Ash has just run out of ideas?
The issue I have is when someone openly admits to lying and faking it in the early days, how can you believe anything you are told? But good luck to any potential investor.