DANIEL Jones and Darren Nankivell (pictured) have gone all guns blazing in the fight for a bigger share of their niche market.
Already being touted as the market response to Lorna Jane, Brisbane and Perth-based fashion label WPN (pronounced 'weapon') created by the entrepreneurial pair is now taking on the male active-wear industry across the country.
Jones and Nankivell started the business by a happy accident in August last year and, according to Jones, the response since then has been both overwhelming and unprecedented.
"In the beginning, we never expected WPN would become a company or even a brand," says Jones.
"I was just in the process of making some new gear for myself because I couldn't find anything I liked that was already on the market.
"I designed a small range for myself and once others saw the product they basically went nuts, asking me where I'd got it and eventually encouraging me to sell it."
Fitness fanatics Jones and Nankivell had already been in the fashion design and distribution game for about five years when the opportunity to create WPN came about.
According to Jones, the market had been crying out for an active-wear brand exclusive to men, tailored towards fashion and lifestyle instead of just performance alone.
The pair also felt big-name brands such as Nike or Reebok weren't capturing the fitness culture in the same way that other companies like Lorna Jane had done so well for women.
"There was definitely room for a brand that had a solid focus on style, something that could be used for performance but something you could also use to go about your everyday life," says Jones.
"You have a lot of fashion brands in Australia that have a really good sense of culture behind them and people love to be a part of that culture. We just feel like a lot of the big sports brands for men don't have that."
WPN is now halfway through a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign, with the cash injection set to launch a new line of apparel and speed the journey toward the company's first bricks-and-mortar shopfront.
Jones and Nankivell also have major retailers such as Rebel Sport in their sights, shooting for a five-year goal that includes nationwide accessibility, major city retail stores and even a WPN charity branch.
"We are also looking at doing more group events, any activities where we can include our followers and core demographic so we can keep our culture alive and people can follow not just the product itself, but everything we represent," says Jones.
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