Each To Their Own - Alex Christopher
28 year old Alex Christopher, originally from Dinnington, launched the Each To Their Own (ETTO) label in 2005. Over the past eight years, Alex has expanded quickly and now owns a chain of ETTO boutique stores across the country.
The ETTO label never sleeps and is continually evolving into a distinguishable fashion house, producing not only exceptional clothing, but hand-made footwear, leather goods and jewellery for both sexes.
Alex Christopher has quickly carved a name for himself as one of the leading fashion designers and entrepreneurs in the North. We speak to the ETTO boutique founder and designer to find out where his journey started, and what’s next for the ever evolving brand...
Q How did your career in fashion begin?
A I didn’t go to college or uni, it all began by accident really.
I started customising my own clothes and got inundated with people coming up to me and asking where they were from. I trained as a hairdresser before that so I guess I was always being creative with my hands.
I would adapt suits and customise clothes to make them more interesting and stand out.
Creating my own designs started from there really — I taught myself to draft patterns and pattern cutting.
Q Were you a follower of fashion from a young age?
A I never really followed fashion avidly. I was into lots of different things when I was younger, such as in line skating, so was influenced by the skater style. I started customising my clothes as I could never find anything different in the shops that I could afford. I’ve always pretty much done my own thing which is where the name of the shops come from! ETTO stands for Each To Their Own. It’s a saying I always used to say if anyone ever mocked what I was wearing. It really describes the big mix of styles and designs we have in the shops.
Q How would you describe ETTO?
A Our target audience changes all the time depending what we have in, we have such a wide variety of customers, from 16 year olds and sometimes even younger, then their mums and dads as well! All the clothes are based around a sort of nightlife culture and clubbing. Everything is done in such limited quantities and shipped to different stores that you wont find someone wearing the same style top on a night out — we like to keep that exclusive feel. We also stock a mix of different independent designers.
The shops have a really welcoming and friendly feel — we are very proud of our customer service. All our staff are always more than happy to help and they all genuinely love all the clothes and labels we have in. Their enthusiasm really shows in their customer service and assistance. With regards to target audience, my designs vary so much that there is something for everyone in all the shops and online boutique.
Q Who would you like to see wear your label?
A Rita Ora — She really has her own style going on and when designing womenswear I often think I could see her in some of the pieces.
Q How has ETTO expanded over the years?
A ETTO started in a small old cutlery shop in Sheffield city centre. I used to have to sew over the toilet! It’s slowly progressed and moved into different cities where there was demand. There are now boutiques in Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester. We also launched the website in 2010 and have recently undergone a re-launch. We opened our online and head office premises in Brinsworth in 2011 — it’s great having a base back in Rotherham.
Q Has ETTO been recognised with any awards?
A We always get nominated for a few, which is a great feeling. Our Manchester shop won Best Menswear at MCR-Confidential awards in the first year of opening which was brilliant recognition and really made the move into Manchester worthwhile. We’ve been nominated for best designs, best newcomers and best business before. The business nomination was really appreciated as it was for the whole of Each to Their Own rather than just the design aspect.
Q Where would you like to see ETTO going next?
A I’m really concentrating on the e-commerce side of the business this year but have many things planned for next year. Including something very exciting next Summer!
Visit www.eachtotheirown.co.uk for store addresses and contact details.