Table of Contents
Last Updated on 16th July 2023
Who started Money Clothing?
Money clothing was created in 2003 by Melvyn de Villiers and Nick Cordell, so predates almost all UK streetwear brands bar Criminal Damage and a handful of others. Although the back story predates that date. Founders Melvyn and Nick were product merchandisers at Def Jam records, designing T-Shirts for artists like Ja Rule and LL Cool J.
As with most business ventures, the pair figured they could put their graphic design to good use and had the idea of starting a fashion line called Money (likely not after the Flying Lizards song, but on what they wanted). In fact, the first Money Clothing LTD was set up as early as 2000 so was clearly on their minds.
It was 2003 when they introduced the brand with just 8 T-shirts at trade shows in the US and Japan and turned heads. Noticeable that of Japanese designer Takashi “Maru” Marujo, who joined the ranks to create a casual label where the consumer would be proud to wear the product and logo.
But the game changed when they linked up with American April Walker of Walker Wear, the female urban wear pioneer and culture creator who blazed the path for streetwear. This was an intentional aim for the British duo to try to crack the US retailers.
Much like other brands of the time, the route to market was through brick and mortar stores with the footfall. So even though the brand had the domains lined up with holding images, they didn’t even have a website until late 2007.
Celebrities would embrace the brand, reflecting how it was all about the Benjamins for the rappers and sports stars. The slang word for money, referring to Benjamin Franklin on the $100 bill was made famous by P Diddy in 1997.
Who owns the brand now?
In 2008 Lalit Maria joined the board replacing Nick, (who had replaced Melvyn as Director of Eye Fo, a Dorset based promotional merchandising company) and remains on the board without Melvyn. Money Industries LTD major shareholder is the Manchester based Boi Group who also own Cross Hatch, Smith & Jones, Duck & Cover and Born Rich.
It would seem in 2014 this moved ownership to Boi and Melvyn left, and judging how many limited companies folded before it, likely for financial difficulties. This would suggest that Boi either were a wholesaler with a debt, bought the brand or picked it up in a liquidation sale. Melvyn moved on to resurrecting the Surf brand Life’s A Beach.
The pioneers of streetwear
In 2008 they were tackling the USA in a big way, and with some bold ideas. They had moved from T-Shirts into denim, and created an additional premium line. They named their lines after the hall-mark of Gold (750) and Platinum (950) to match the gold-plated buttons and zips. The tracksuit tops were all hand-embroidered with real gold thread.
What are they known for?
The brand developed their name literally, and made The Hundred-dollar jean with a legit currency bill appliqué sown in the back pocket in an air-tight plastic seal, so the legal tender is not damaged. This led to versions with the Cuban, Colombian, and Japanese variants.
After the bills were ripped out in shops, they had to be kept locked up, which was also the case for the $2000 money swag bag. Standard and safe apparel design is not what Money Clothing are about.
They continue to make denim, hats, sock, sliders, sweatshirts, underwear, tracksuits, jeans, jackets, hoodies, t-shirts and more. They continue with bold designs and colourways, keeping the ethos alive. But importantly celebs continue to endorse it, including Ed Sheeran, 50 Cent, Wiley and Stormzy.
The Money Clothing Logo
The classic King Ape logo is on the hats and clothing. Not to be confused with clothing brand Gorilla wear which has a silverback as a logo, or BAPE who use just the head of a monkey.
It was not designed with anything specific in mind but is effectively the shape of an M turned into a monkey with a crown.
The instantly recognisable logo helped the brand grow with word of mouth affirmation as a popular streetwear brand.
Other than the logo, often the clothes are styled with the Money Signature logo.
Is Money Clothing a good brand?
Yes, the brand is still highly regarded and remains a very popular streetwear brand. The Trustpilot reviews have a lot of positive comments, praising the great design and the very high-quality product made to last.
The garments are available to buy in most big retailers and on the online website shop.
Last Updated on 16th July 2023
Elsewhere, A Bathing Ape (BAPE) use the head of a monkey, and Money Clothing use a Monkey shaped like an M.