Former Shrewsbury Town striker Marvin Morgan has revealed how he started his clothing line despite playing professional football.
The 34-year-old, who last featured for his lower league side, Bath City FC in December 2017, claims retirement as a footballer is one of the hardest decisions they would have to take someday.
While so go into football administration, others are into management, and the remaining choose punditry among several opportunities in the field in a bid to curb boredom on free days.
However, the former Aldershot hotshot was not moved by all of those choices as he set up the streetwear fashion brand Fresh Ego Kid, which is adored by Dele Alli, Anthony Joshua, Romelu Lukaku and a host of others.
And it gave the Manchester born striker a life after football, and it’s gone much better than his wildest dreams could’ve expected.
Romelu Lukaku with The Game in LA #FEK
A post shared by Fresh Ego Kid (@freshegokidltd) on Jun 26, 2017 at 1:11pm PDT
According to Sunsport, the former striker revealed how Premier League’s big names are getting inspired to wear FEK by Britain’s leading grime stars, while one of his greatest dreams since he started the clothing line is to bring streetwear culture to London Fashion Week by 2020.
“As a professional footballer you realise you have so much time on your hands,” he told SunSport.
“I was training at in the morning, finishing at lunchtime and had the whole day free. I was mentally bored. All of my friends had jobs, and even though I had friends who were in football, you want to socialise outside of that circle.
“I couldn’t because everyone I knew was working. It got to a point where I was playing computer games all day. I had to do something else. I had this passion for fashion and I wasn’t afraid to experiment.
“People would look at me and say, ‘What the f*** have you got on?’
“It got to a point where I got sick of my own clothes and I thought, ‘You know what, I’m going to start a clothing line.”
Morgan started out very small – in the corners of his room with an old laptop and a trusty Blackberry.
Meanwhile, his longtime friends, Ben Alexander and Joel Mannix were helpful as he began crafting his vision and set up a website to sell his designs.
Time is near #AJBXNG
A post shared by Fresh Ego Kid (@freshegokidltd) on Mar 22, 2018 at 3:06pm PDT
And like any other business starting out, his plans were greeted with disdain by his former Aldershot teammates when he told them of his plans.
Morgan explained: “When I was at Aldershot, I told my teammates that I wanted to start a fashion label. I had some serious doubters.
“Some said to me, ‘I’m not going to buy your gear. But my close friends were more supportive and the idea grew from there.
“At first, I didn’t have a clue what the hell I was doing. It was genuinely just a process, an idea and then it turned into a reality.
“It was more self-taught than anything. I was meeting a lot of companies and manufacturers, but I was winging it.
“Ben and Joel were very influential. They helped me find manufacturers, but it was my job to try and put everything together.”
Morgan further explained that there are about three more designers in the company; after all he is the Fresh Ego Kid.
“I have three or four designers, but I’m the head designer. I am Fresh Ego Kid,” he exclaimed.
“I sit down, we have brief meetings and I go through designs with my business partner, Jon. We work off each other. We work with manufacturers and we’re trying to build a structure that’ll take us around the world.
“At the moment, we’re looking at ways of getting to Australia, Asia and America.”
Other footballers that have embraced the brand include Kieran Trippier, Troy Deeney, Scott McTominay and Danny Rose.
Morgan divulged that he’s got a definitive style for FEK and who he wants wearing his clobber.
“I am really particular with what I want the clothes to look like and who wears the brand,” he said.
“I’ve got to have a vision and the vision has to fit the brand. If the person wearing the brand doesn’t fit the vision, it’s nothing personal.”
EASTER SPECIAL 20% OFF All truckers and snapbacks WAS: £30 NOW: £24 Discount code: EASTER20 (swipe left and click products. Offer ends Monday 2nd April at midnight)
A post shared by Fresh Ego Kid (@freshegokidltd) on Apr 1, 2018 at 9:11am PDT
Reuben, Morgan’s soundboard, reveals it’s Marvin’s nice-guy persona that draws the crowds.
He continued: “Marvin is the epicentre of what Fresh Ego Kid is,” Reuben revealed.
“He’s had that throughout his football career, which is why footballers like the brand. If you spend half an hour with Marvin, you’ll find he’s an infectious guy.
“Fresh Ego Kid is a character, it’s charisma and people buy into it. Dele Alli, Yannick Bolasie and Troy Deeney all come to the office to try the gear on.
“We were at Watford the other day with Troy and Adrian Mariappa, they invited us over at lunchtime.
“Lads like that understand that Marvin is a guy who has been in football and has had to hustle during his career.
“He was at the lower end of the spectrum, made a good career out of the game and now must create a life after that.
“Marv has a connection to these people who are talking about the brand. They understand that supporting Marvin on his journey is important because they’re all in the same boat.
FEK navy/white mesh trucker online now worn by Man City’s right back @kylewalker2
A post shared by Fresh Ego Kid (@freshegokidltd) on Mar 12, 2018 at 1:17pm PDT
“Some of them are going to earn more money than others, but when you hit 35 what are you going to do for the rest of your life?
“Troy was like, ‘I respect the hustle. You showed me that when I finish playing the game, that there is life after football’
“Trippier, Alli and Lukaku are big supporters of us too, and we couldn’t be happier to have them onboard.”
FEK in spite competition in the market have been able to carve a niche for themselves in the sports/fashion market.
Recently, they signed deals with JD Sports and Footasylum to stock their hats, tracksuits and tees.
#WatfordFC Adrian Mariappa having a interview about Watford’s defeat on Saturday at #WestHam wearing Fresh Ego Kid #FEK
A post shared by Fresh Ego Kid (@freshegokidltd) on Feb 11, 2018 at 9:54am PST
They also inked a deal with American headwear giants New Era, who will help launch FEK Stateside.
“We just signed a deal with New Era and that’s a massive moment for our brand to become an international one,” Reuben continued.
“Nike, Adidas, there are some big brands out there. But Marvin has been able to create a brand identity with great photography and cool clothes.
“Now, with the deals we have with JD Sports and Footasylum and New Era we can continue to push on.
“We’re a UK street urban brand. We’re not Man United, we’re not Tottenham Hotspur.
“But we have the kudos. You’re more likely to see a Man United player wearing one of our hats than their own team’s baseball caps.
“Marv goes in and sits with the players and gives them a box of hats. The next day the players are doing Sky Sports interviews with the caps on.
Congrats big man #AJBXNG
A post shared by Fresh Ego Kid (@freshegokidltd) on Oct 29, 2017 at 8:34am PDT
“It’s about the connection to the person and the creation of this urban cultural brand and Marvin is the epicentre of it.”
Morgan is extremely thankful to the likes of Alli and Joshua for being pioneers in helping him get his brand noticed.
“I’m not going to say Dele Alli, Anthony Joshua or anyone else wearing our brand won’t help sell Fresh Ego Kid,” he said.
“That’s the game, and it’s like what Nike does.
“They’re a marketing company, they market their athletes in the products so you go to buy their products.
Massive game at Off Trafford today. Always nice seeing @rlukaku9 showcasing our hats at one of the biggest clubs in the world.
A post shared by Fresh Ego Kid (@freshegokidltd) on Oct 28, 2017 at 4:03am PDT
“For me, the way I look at it, I want people to like me as a person than buy into the brand.”
Both Morgan and Reuben realise that they have to be ahead of the curb when it comes to the names who are promoting FEK.
After all, once Alli or another one of their brand ambassadors defects to a Adidas or Nike, they understand they won’t be able to compete with the majors.
That is why they target young up-and-coming athletes to promote their business.
FEK also kit out some of the leading grime artists in Britain at the moment, like Giggs and Krept and Konan.
Morgan told us footballers like to copy the rappers’ style.
“The crossover between music and football has helped,” Morgan said.
“Footballers naturally listen to musicians, so rappers like Giggs, Krept and Konan are influencing what the players wear.
“They see what they’re posting on social media, and they’re wearing Fresh Ego Kid, and that makes footballers want to wear it more.
Tripps and the Tottenham squad travelling to Madrid today #COYS
A post shared by Fresh Ego Kid (@freshegokidltd) on Oct 16, 2017 at 2:23pm PDT
“They also listen to the music; they like the culture and they can see the correlation between that and Fresh Ego Kid.
“Musicians want to be footballers and footballers want to be musicians. Fresh Ego Kid can bridge the gap to help them dress the same.”
Morgan has grand plans for FEK. He wants to have a show at London Fashion Week by 2020.
“For us, we’re working towards London Fashion Week,” he said.
“By 2020 I want to be recognised there. I look at goals in my life. I wanted to be a professional footballer; I wanted to win a trophy.
“I did both of those, now we’ve got Fresh Ego Kid and I want to go out to Europe. I also want us to go out to America and I want to be at London Fashion Week.
“I want to represent the culture and what I bring to the table. This isn’t about money for me, it’s about the culture and how far I can take it. That’s how I look at it, anyway, and I’m really hungry to do well in this industry.”
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