Almost forgot to mention – Award winners 2002 !

  1. Rob
  2. November 4, 2010 3:21 pm

While the frenzy of running two stores and launching a web business was growing momentum, I found it quite therapeutic to write an entry for the FHM Menswear Awards 2002.  I used a slightly quirky “fairy-story” theme for my entry that obviously piqued the judges’ interest, as we were shortlisted for Best Small Retailer In The UK.

This award was pretty heavyweight, as it involved the UK’s biggest-selling Menswear magazine of the time, FHM.    A judge’s visit to the Shop was arranged for a Friday afternoon.  I was so busy with running all aspects of the business that I didn’t lay on any red-carpet reception, though I’m told a lot of retailers did, fresh flowers, lunch invitations, fresh decorating, etc for the visit.  I’ve always had a “what you see is what you get” approach, and when Mr Judge, who was the Editor of Menswear Magazine arrived, he seemed to like it.  We got on like a house on fire, and it was a real pleasure to be quizzed for hours about a business I was so passionate about.

The final shortlist was announced a couple of weeks later – we were still in the running!  A massive night at the Grosvenor hotel in Park lane was the venue for the presentation, with finalist’s complimentary tickets for me and the missus. The turn-out was a who’s who of the Menswear  Fashion industry.  Hosting the night and presenting the awards was actress and presenter Gaby Roslyn.

Around 1000 guests, entrants and the industry’s finest attended the awards, a decent dinner followed by the announcement of the winners of 14 categories. And the winner of the FHM Menswear award for Best Small Retailer in the UK goes to………….

Bagga Menswear!  What a huge buzz, weaving my way through the tables, making my way to the stage, to the applause of 1000 of my peers. Quick kiss from Gaby, job done!

This was quite a high point of my 16 years in the business.  It led to a couple of years of writing a column for Drapers magazine, and becoming a judge for subsequent events.  This was definitely a good year to win something, as the FHM involvement, which really carried a lot of weight, and led to massive recognition by consumers, was withdrawn.  It simply became the Drapers award, which was pretty low-value in terms of public recognition.

Perhaps I’ve become a bit of a cynic, but I look at a lot of awards these days as cash generators for the organizers, with very little value for the winners.  I entered the business for an award last year, and literally spent no more than 20 minutes on my entry.  We were shortlisted, and invited to a “glittering” awards night….  at 400 quid a ticket!  I didn’t bother, as £800 could be far better spent elsewhere. Do the maths – £400 x 1000 or 1100 people, plus loads of other incomes connected to the event….  you’d want something that’s really worth winning, wouldn’t you?!
I didn’t win that one.

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