Carlton’s Bryce Gibbs is a smooth mover on the footy field and is set to unveil a project that proves he’s just as classy off it. The 24-year-old Blue is just days away from launching ‘Tushay’, a men’s fashion label he’s started with former-teammate Jordan Russell.
In the next fortnight we’ll get our first glimpse of what Tushay is all about – t-shirts will soon be available for purchase, and there are plans to produce a clothing range featuring jeans, shorts, singlets and jumpers in the future.
“The website should be ready to go next week and we’ve already started taking pre-orders for stock, so we’ve had a fair bit of interest already,” Gibbs says.
Footballers and fashion haven’t always gone together, and Gibbs admits it’s been a steep learning curve for him and Russell so far.
“We haven’t done any specific retail courses or anything but we’re learning how to get the name out there at the moment and are learning along the way,” Gibbs says.
“We’re pretty hands on – Jordan and I both look after the design of the t-shirts, help with the fit and are doing all the marketing ourselves. We’ve got another business partner, a husband and wife, who are helping us with all the office sort of stuff, looking after the books and keeping an eye on emails and that sort of thing. When we decided to start the range up we wanted to be as involved as we could be.”
Gibbs says he and Russell have had ambitions to go into business together for years, but took some time to figure out what type of business to pursue.
“We’re pretty good mates – we grew up in Adelaide together and ironically ended up at Carlton together at the same time,” he explains.
“We’ve always said from the start that we wanted to do some type of business together, whether it was running our own business or opening a café. One day we were just out at lunch and out of that came the start of a clothing label, just from having a chat. Next minute we started it.”
The name ‘Tushay’, which Gibbs admits is “a bit different”, is a reference to their friendship.
“We call each other Shay – it’s kind of like a nickname for each other, which came from a game of word-association. There are two of us, so ‘Tushay’.”
“Ed Curnow’s got holes in every single piece of clothing he wears and Nick Graham still loves the sea-shell necklaces ” – Bryce Gibbs
Gibbs and Russell have similar tastes when it comes to fashion, but the former number one draft pick admits there are a few teammates who are in dire need of some assistance.
“Hopefully we can help a few of the boys,” Gibbs says with a laugh, citing Ed Curnow and Nick Graham as the two worst-dressed players at Carlton.
“Ed Curnow’s got holes in every single piece of clothing he wears and Nick Graham still loves the sea-shell necklaces and wears a lot of very out-there fluoro.”
While lifting the fashion standards around the Carlton change-rooms might be a nice bonus, Gibbs admits there’s a more important reason behind starting a fashion label now.
“We decided to do it is while we still have a profile. If we tried to start this up in five or six years I reckon we’d miss the boat so using our profile to get the name out there is definitely an advantage.”
The pair couldn’t have timed the launch any better – Tushay will be well and truly up and running within the next fortnight, meaning the business will have found its feet by the time the Blues line up against the Power in Round 1.
The website, www.tushay.com.au, is a few days away from being launched and their first batch of stock arrived this week.
“We’ll probably need until the end of this week to go through it all and get it ready. We’ll be up and running by next week,” Gibbs says. “It’s all happening – we’ve been flat-out!”
While many shoppers will buy Tushay items online, those who want to check out the range in person can do so at a number of boutique stores scattered throughout Melbourne. Impulse in Moonee Ponds, Oggi in Reservoir and Box Canyon in Hawthorn are amongst those that will stock the range.