• 2011 November 22

    Son of All Blacks' coach swaps rugby for fashion

    Son of All Blacks' coach swaps rugby for fashion

    Andrew Henry, son of the All Blacks' World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry, has shrugged off his father's successes in favour of creating his own sporting fashion range.

    Despite knowing very little about the designer menswear industry, Andrew has decided to go it alone and become a trainer entrepreneur, reports Stuff.co.nz.

    Andrew, who is a keen trainer-fan himself, owning more than 100 pairs, says that he had to plan every single detail to get the venture off the ground, from production to distribution.

    "Everything I have done I have had to learn myself. From finding a factory, to production, to dealing with China," said the 30-year-old from Auckland. "The whole process from start to finish was self taught, so as you can imagine there was a lot of trial and error."

    His biggest difficultly has been getting retailers to trust in a brand that they are not familiar with. Not even Andrew's father - who is one of the most successful New Zealand managers ever, having coached 140 matches and winning three grand slams - could help.

    "In terms of distribution, especially internationally, I have encountered difficulties with retailers being unwilling to take on a new, completely unknown brand.  A big part in overcoming this was making the effort to meet people face-to-face," says Andrew.

    However, fortunes have changed for the plucky Kiwi following new global distribution talks, adds AllBlacksHeadlines.com.

    "Seeing my work completed it makes it all worth it," he says. "I still remember seeing the first pair on a stranger walking the streets - very cool."