Reece Wabara is taking over fashion.
The ex-Manchester City trainee and England U20 international has transitioned from playing with ballers to kitting them out, having founded fashion powerhouse Manière De Voir in 2014 in the midst of his football career.
After one appearance for City and several loan spells at clubs including Ipswich, Oldham and Blackpool, Wabara founded Manière De Voir three years ago – a sports luxe brand that’s undergone an incredible period of growth that now sees the brand turnover £1 million each week.
For the first time on film, the 25-year-old has spoken about his transition from professional athlete to style entrepreneur.
VERSUS: Talk about your transition from football to fashion. What sparked the birth of Manière De Voir?
Reece Wabara: I signed to Manchester City at a transitional period, there was two or three managers in the time I was there and two or three owners too. I knew my football days at City were coming to an end and my dad always taught me I needed a second option to ensure you’re relevant and financially stable. I founded MDV in late 2014 and launched a collection, the first clothing I produced was tracksuits, t-shirts, hoodies…I put them on the footballers that I knew and it took off.
At what point did MDV become your life and football your second job?
The transition from footballer to fashion owner was a gradual one and only when the numbers and politics in football started to eat away at me did I need to make a choice, my football wasn’t progressing in the way I intended it to. The business was progressing at an alarming rate and I had to choose one or the other because focus is important.
Why do you think the MDV brand has connected with so many people?
Because the ethos of the brand is to ensure we are leaders in innovative design and quality which can last for years, but we still maintain an affordable price point which represents value. We want to be market leaders in multi-gender fashion, I don’t think there are many companies in this space who cater to both men and women on a high level.
What lessons have have you taken from your football career that have served you well as a fashion entrepreneur?
Resilience! Football is a difficult game and full of opinions. It taught me to deal with adversity and business is full of sticking points. There is very little that can now affect me, I seek obstacles and have full belief I can come up with a viable solution to most things.
For more information visit manieredevoir.com.