Craig meets luxury clothing brand Eden Park, and interviews England Rugby star George Ford
About Eden Park
Eden Park’s story began in 1987, when two international rugby players, Franck Mesnel and Eric Blanc, from one of the most prestigious clubs in the world – the Racing Club de France – decided to create a luxury, ready-to-wear brand.
In line with the creative approach taken by sports personalities, the founders have imposed their own brand of attitude, blending elegance with fashion. With a taste for the unconventional and a keen eye for detail, they developed an inimitable Eden Park style, its iconic piece being the rugby jersey in all its forms and colours.
Easily recognisable whether by the emblematic logo – the pink bow tie – or distinctive graphic identity and colours, the label’s creations are diligently worked in order to ensure that they remain faithful to their roots.
Being the official formalwear providers for the England Rugby Team, Eden Park has it’s roots firmly planted in Rugby soil. I got to catch up with its Brand Ambassador George Ford at the stunning Pennyhill Park Hotel in the beautiful Surrey countryside.
About CEO, Franck Mesnel
As a rugby player, Franck is used to playing at the top level (56 selections for the French team), with his personal life being a steady path of discovery, and creative beginnings as student of architecture at the Beaux.
One of Franck’s greatest exploits was back in May 1987, with the Racing Club de France. During the finals of the French Championship against Toulon, Franck Mesnel and his team played the match wearing a pink bow tie. This was to symbolize the team’s creative, offbeat spirit. They may have lost the game, but their story became a legend. A true Parisian, Franck Mesnel’s profile was far from typical.
At that time, rugby was an amateur sport and not particularly well paid. So, following his architectural studies, Franck Mesnel needed to get himself a career. He joined Euro RSCG, becoming junior head of publicity. Faced with a demanding new job and a tough training schedule, he realised that his timetable was not the same as that of his colleagues. His choice lay between life as an architect, or that of an air-force helicopter pilot. In the end, he embarked on a career in textile design with the creation of a label based on a very legitimate product: the rugby jersey.
Franck launched the label with Eric Blanc in November 1988. For the following seven years, he continued to play for France XV, a team which he is proud to be dressing today. Eden Park is currently leader in the market it created, and Franck Mesnel remains not only at the helm, as CEO, but is also involved at operational level as head of Branding.
A huge thank you to George Ford for the interview and to the guys from Eden Park for the opportunity. Thanks also to the Sam Holden Agency for the great video. Let me know your thoughts on the interview, on the rugby or on Eden Park below, it’d be great to hear from you.