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Suffolk clothing firm Hoax benefits from the Ed Sheeran effect as singer is brand ambassador

PUBLISHED: 16:40 03 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:40 03 July 2017

Jason Carter, managing director of local business, HOAX, based at Bentwaters. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Jason Carter, managing director of local business, HOAX, based at Bentwaters. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Glastonbury headliner Ed Sheeran’s incredible success is a proving a big boost for Suffolk surf-and-skate clothing brand Hoax - because he wears their shirts and T-shirts on stage.

Jason Carter, managing director of local business, HOAX, with the surf board made for Ed Sheeran. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJason Carter, managing director of local business, HOAX, with the surf board made for Ed Sheeran. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk singing superstar Ed Sheeran’s success is having a spin-off effect for locally-based Hoax clothing company.

The independent surfing and skating clothing company, based at Bentwaters Park, gets a boost every time Ed appears on TV – such as when he headlined Glastonbury for a TV audience of four million – and on magazine covers, with the singer, from Framlingham, featuring on the latest issue of Q magazine.

Invariably, when he is performing on stage, Ed wears Hoax brand clothing, and he is wearing Hoax on the Q cover too.

The small company has seen sales leap since Ed agreed to become a brand ambassador – unpaid – and he also features on their website.

Jason Carter, managing director of local business, HOAX, based at Bentwaters. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJason Carter, managing director of local business, HOAX, based at Bentwaters. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Company directors are Jason Carter and graphic designer Vaughan Evans, who designed the Hoax brand and graphics.

The support of the hit singer, for this local business, has been key in its success.

Managing director Jason Carter said: “There is a boost in international sales and orders whenever Ed appears abroad.

“It delivers international sales and enquiries.

Archie Carter and Jason Carter from local business HOAX, with the surf board made for Ed Sheeran. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNArchie Carter and Jason Carter from local business HOAX, with the surf board made for Ed Sheeran. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Now he is going to do a 60-date tour of the USA and we have one of our T-shirts going with him in the merchandising.

“We get orders as far as Australia and Taiwan and Hawaii and right across Europe, of course.

“They see Ed wearing one of our T-shirts and buy one – and we get a lots of repeat orders. Buyers also come back for other products.

“You couldn’t get better advertising. It has been great for us.

“It is not just about surfing and skating it is a lifestyle thing.

“We have a slogan: Surf – Skate – Create.”

The relationship came about after a chance meeting in a Woodbridge cafe, and a chat over lunch at Prezzo.

Jason added: “We started talking about our plans. Ed said he loved the brand and would love to wear it when he went back on tour. He wears it because he wants to wear it.”

One big seller is the Sunset checked shirt which has become known as the Sheeran shirt. In blue and black, or red and black, it is usually worn over a T-shirt by the singer.

The shirt really has its roots in Suffolk, as the fabric was designed by local textile designer Paul Vogel.

There are various Hoax T-shirt designs, each given names. The Wait T-shirt, featuring a photograph by Suffolk-based photographer Tim Nunn, is also worn by Sheeran on his Divide album.

He also wore a brand new design in his concert at Nottingham.

Jason explained: “A few of us went up from Suffolk and we were back stage.

“He said ‘I like your T-shirt’. I said ‘I have got one for you.’

“He ripped it open, and walked on stage wearing it.

“We were the only two people in the country wearing it.”

Find out more about Hoax at its website.

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David Vincent

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EADT writer David Vincent has more than 40 years experience in Suffolk. He has explored the highways and byeways of East Anglia, meeting homeowners, developers and estate agents from Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh and Colchester to Diss.

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