Two cab drivers who started a clothing brand ‘by accident’ donate all their profits and next want to go even bigger.
Daniel O’Connell and Pete Adams are both taxi drivers and are absolutely inseparable, but they spent most of their childhoods apart after their mum split up from Pete’s dad.
After finding their way back to each other over the years, they’ve now joined up as business owners too.
To mark Daniel’s 40th birthday, Pete decided to surprise his brother with a hoodie and hat for his birthday, and came up with the idea of making him his own logo.
The duo, who are both originally from Brixton quickly saw attention for the items come their way from friends and family on Instagram.
The response surprised both brothers as the thoughtful gift gathered momentum into a business opportunity – Brixton Street Wear.
Now, Pete has spoken to Metro.co.uk about how their incredible relationship and why they think they’ve got lessons to teach the likes of Louis Vuitton.
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He said: ‘We’ve got a different dad and the same mum, so when my dad and our mum split up, my dad took me and obviously Dan stayed with our mum and our nan on her side.
‘But we were only about five years old when they split, my dad moved away from Brixton because of family issues between the two families and we moved just a bit further south, [Dan and I] never saw each other after I was about four or five.’
They were put back in touch with each other after his dad died when Pete was 10, and they saw each other a couple of times over the next few months.
However, they once again became estranged but a chance meeting as teenagers proved vital in getting them back together.
‘We didn’t bump into each other until we were around 17,’ Pete continued. ‘I was walking across Clapham Common and I saw this kid and I was thinking, “I swear that geezer is my brother?”
‘I didn’t know this at the time but he was with a lot of naughty people and he was going to come and beat me up because I was staring!’
Pete asked one of his mates to ask if the very familiar teenager now with a beard was, in fact, his brother and luckily, he got the answer he was hoping for.
Since then, their relationship has gone from strength to strength and Pete even taught Daniel ‘The Knowledge’ to help him become a London taxi driver.
Their business venture Brixton Street Wear came after Pete designed Dan a logo ‘with quite unique stuff to Dan’ – his initials DOC, and record logo for the former DJ, and the year 1976, when he was born.
But it soon took off: ‘People started asking us for it, for hats or t shirts, but we were originally just selling it what it cost to make.
‘Soon, I was like, “S**t, maybe we have got something here!” When we started it, straight away we just started giving back.
‘We released a collection and we gave all the profits to the Brixton Street gym and it’s just escalated like that and we’ve sort of grown our ethos.’
He’s out to get the attention of the big guns too, adding: ‘Look, if we can do it, any brand can do it. You’ve got the big Louis Vuittons, they could all do the same thing.
‘On Black Friday, we don’t go into sale – we bring out a new collection and give 100% and and profits to whatever project or community project. It doesn’t have to be a charity, it could just be something in the area.
‘We’ve done that all the way through pandemic, all the way through lockdowns, we did stuff for the soup kitchen, Resole, men’s mental health, spoken word nights and more.’
They’ve recently collaborated with brands such as Footlocker and Soho House as they’re sure Brixton Street Wear is about to ‘blow up’.
‘Everything’s open to us, we never say no to anything,’ Pete added, with the pair often using friends and customers to show off their collections.
‘If it comes through to us and we can… for us, it’s time, honestly, we’d work with anyone if it resonates with us.’
The pair are keen to get themselves on more podcasts to help promote their brand and the ethos behind it.
They’re even starting to get recognised too, as he concluded: ‘We just been over to Shoreditch at the King Of Trainers store, which is good.
‘But it’s funny, it’s almost becoming that we get people come down just to see us, which is mad, honestly, it’s weird, but it’s great, it’s such amazing fun.’
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