5 Minutes with… Rob and Paul Forkan, the brothers behind Gandys
Late last year, we welcomed London-born brand Gandys into the Market (you can find their shop on the high street). A couple of months later, we caught up with the brothers behind the brand - Rob and Paul - to find out more about the journey that took them from India all the way back to Camden Market.
-Tell us a little bit about the history of the brand?
When we were 11 and 13 mum and dad said ‘pack one bag, we are moving to India’. We spent the rest of our childhood travelling the world as a family. In 2004 we survived the Boxing Day tsunami alongside our younger brother and sister, however we sadly lost both of our parents.
When returning to the UK, we started Gandys from our bedroom in Brixton and we were solely a flip flop brand. The name Gandys originated at a music festival when Rob woke up (very hungover) and proclaimed ‘My mouth feels as dry as Gandys flip-flop’ and here we are today.
The whole aim of the business was to build a single children’s home in honour of our mum and dad’s legacy and everything they taught us. We now have expanded from campaigning the streets of London promoting the brand, to having a massive online presence thus the need to expand further and open stores across the capital.
-Why did you choose Camden as the site for your most recent shop?
We did guerrilla marketing campaigns across the city when we first started. We actually have images of us stood in front of the store we now have in Camden 5 years ago with flyers and flip-flops. To think now we actually have that shop is incredible. It’s amazing to have stores in the areas of London that supported us first.
-The brand is inspired by travel, where is your favourite travel destination?
Rob – When we re-launched our website we had an amazing photo shoot in Iceland for our first A/W collection and the scenery was amazing and this was a time I’ll never forget. Also, Asia, in general, was the stem of the creatives behind the clothing at Gandys, the vibrant colours and streets fuelled by markets remind me of Camden’s moreish atmosphere.
Paul – India and Sri Lanka will always be my favourite spot due to our first charity project being based here alongside all our childhood memories. Also, Morocco for the S/S photo shoot was amazing really taught us about their culture and this was expressed in that collection of clothing.
-How does it feel to have so many famous (even royal!) patrons for Gandys?
We are incredibly lucky to have such amazing brand ambassadors on-board with our mission. It’s amazing that they love what we are trying to achieve and they support us.
We are very grateful that they support us and it means that we are able to do more projects around the globe.
-Tell us a bit about your most recent charity project.
In October 2017 we opened our second kid’s campus in Malawi. We selected this one as we wanted to spread out across the world. The next mission is to build one on every continent. We were able to find excellent partners to support the cause and after we assessed Malawi, we thought they needed our help the most.
-What are your plans for the future?
We will be opening more stores across the city and this will enable us to work on more charity projects and generally grow. We LOVE designing our products and are very excited about upcoming collections to launch for S/S 18 and A/W 18 as they express the brand and its values so strongly.