Reece Wabara is an ex-professional footballer who played for Manchester City from 2011 to 2014 as well as Ipswich, Oldham, Doncaster Rovers, Barnsley, Wigan, and finally Bolton in 2017. He also represented England at the under 20 World Cup during his heydays.
When his footballing career began to take a nosedive, Wabara took to entrepreneurship as his retirement plan. While playing football, Wabara had a taste for fashion and when he had to pick a sector to invest in, fashion was his first option.
“My football wasn’t progressing in the way I intended it to,” the 29-year-old told Sports On Screen. “The business was progressing at an alarming rate and I had to choose one or the other because focus is important.”
The ex-defender launched a fashion label called Maniere De Voir in 2013. Since the launch of his firm, the company has grown from strength to strength and even posted enviable profits. His decision to go into fashion has seen his company reach sales of around $1 million per week in Europe.
“I started Manière De Voir after my best friend Lewis Morgan was building his brand Gymshark,” Wabara told Schon magazine. “He was 18 months into his company and suggested I should start my own fashion brand.”
Wabara continued: “At first I was dismissive, but after looking into brand names and wanting to incorporate my vision I chose Manière De Voir, which means ‘Way of Seeing’ in French. It’s been just over a year and the success we’ve had has been great and inspires me for what’s to come in the future.”
According to Forbes, Maniere De Voir has built to $30 million in revenue without outside capital. In addition, Maniere De Voir has fulfilled more than 1 million orders for fashion items such as hoodies, denim jackets, and jeans.
Wabara now kits out sports celebrities like Anthony Joshua and Raheem Sterling with cool clobber. He attributes the success of his brand to people who desire to wear contemporary trend-led fashion.
“The growth of the brand has been incredible; nearly everywhere I go I see people wearing Manière De Voir,” he said. “I think the success has come from giving people who desire contemporary trend-led fashion and designs with an extra MDV touch at an attainable price. My vision has a lot more to offer and hopefully, this is just the start.”
Wabara credits his father for steering his career towards the fashion business when he was struggling at Manchester City.
“I signed to Manchester City at a transitional period, there were two or three managers in the time I was there and two or three owners too,” Wabara told Versus. “I knew my football days at City were coming to an end and my dad always taught me I needed a second option to ensure you’re relevant and financially stable.”
Despite his low success in football, Wabara said he has taken lessons from football that guide his fashion business.
“Football is a difficult game and full of opinions. It taught me to deal with adversity and business is full of sticking points,” he said. “There is very little that can now affect me, I seek obstacles and have the full belief I can come up with a viable solution to most things.”