How Ed Sheeran’s favourite clothing brand is doing one year on from Divide tour

PUBLISHED: 11:00 31 August 2020

Inside the Hoax pop-up store, which was supported by its brand ambassador Ed Sheeran. Picture: SOPHIE BARNETT

Inside the Hoax pop-up store, which was supported by its brand ambassador Ed Sheeran. Picture: SOPHIE BARNETT


With none other than Ed Sheeran himself as an ambassador, Hoax got a huge boost at his Chantry Park gigs - so one year on, how has it helped the clothing brand?

Ed Sheeran wearing a Hoax t-shirt.  Picture: PA IMAGESEd Sheeran wearing a Hoax t-shirt. Picture: PA IMAGES

The Suffolk-based maker featured heavily in the Chantry Park shows and hosted a pop-up store in Ipswich over the August Bank Holiday weekend last year.

The shop drew hundreds of fans who queued along Butter Market to buy a range of merchandise from both Sheeran and Hoax.

According to the father and son duo behind Hoax, the company has enjoyed a successful year since last August.

Archie Carter, business development manager, said: “I drive past people and see them wearing products that we were selling at the time of the Chantry Park gig last year – so last summer’s collection.
“And I think: ‘Oh you might have bought that from the gig.’

Hoax held a pop up store in Ipswich in the run up to Christmas last year  Picture: RACHEL EDGEHoax held a pop up store in Ipswich in the run up to Christmas last year Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“I think on a local level it definitely helped us.”

MORE: One year on: Your pictures from Ed Sheeran’s Chantry Park gigs

Jason Carter, director of the company, said: “As a brand we’ve benefited from Ed giving us exposure and we’ve had that for the last couple of years – prior to him having a break.
“The Divide tour was great. We had t-shirts on the tour as well as stuff from our own website.

“After the tour it was uncertain whether any interest from that side of our customers would still continue. But we’ve had a really good year without Ed representing us – on our own as such.”

After launching one pop-up store in town with Ed, Hoax opened one on its own last Christmas – which they say it was a “phenomenal success”.

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“It was a standalone store,” said Jason. “It was fantastic. We had a great reaction from members of the public.”

But in March, when the pandemic hit, it was the firm’s online store – rather than on the high street – that grew.

Jason said: “We’re predominantly an online business.

“Obviously we have local stockists in shops who had to shut down, but thankfully we do most of our business online.”

Hoax did, however, have big plans for this year’s Suffolk Show, before it was cancelled.

MORE: Chantry Park unlikely to hold more major concerts anytime soon, says council

“We were going to have two sites at the Suffolk show this year,” he said. “One was going to be down to Fifth Avenue retail section – where we always are, year after year.

“And then there was going to be a music site where we were going to bring in acts from the local area.”

Despite Covid-19 disrupting many events, the company has branched out into producing beer alongside Suffolk brewery Calvors.

“We’ve actually recently announced the launch of our Hoax Punch pilsner,” Archie said. “Our plan was to bring that out alongside all the events.”

Nevertheless, the company is planning to launch more beers with Calvors and said it has already heard from retailers interested in stocking them.

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