The Wisdom of Iain Trickett

In a recent Copy Custard video about long Vs. short copy, I went on a 2-minute tangent about my favorite fashion brand, TRiCKETT. It’s a small DTC (Direct To Consumer) operation from Accrington, known as a working-class town in the north of England. It is run, as far as I can tell, by a man named Iain Trickett, Iain Trickett’s dad, and helping hands from an assortment of friends and neighbors.

I love TRiCKETT because it’s a British brand with global taste.

Iain pulls inspiration from all over; hip-hop, US sports, film, music, house plants, ice cream. But TRiCKETT’s three pillars are Diego Maradona, his spiritual home Naples, and all-round well-made things. The core is a love of sporting heritage and a commitment to high quality. And Iain writes damn fine copy. It’s real. From the heart. The sort of words you can’t write without love.

Iain Trickett at home, in Napoli

His website is a case study of small business done right.

My Copy Custard tangent was brief.

I didn’t get into the enduring glory of the “Neapolitan Tuxedo” I bought from TRiCKETT in 2022. My wife was so jealous when I came strutting into the kitchen that she straight-up sulked until I bought her one too. Strangers stop me in the street – in Berlin, the European epicenter of streetwear – to ask me where I got it. It’s cozy and cool I am torn between wearing it all the time and not at all.

“The guy killed 16 Czechoslovakians. He was an interior decorator.” — Paulie, The Sopranos

So this memo is a deeper dive into why I love TRiCKETT. I want to lay out some of the lessons TRiCKETT holds for anyone who builds brands, writes copy, or wants to one day run their own esoteric fashion business.

The Wisdom of Scarcity

Everything TRiCKETT makes has a limited run. “The sportswear manufacturers understand how it all works and that is why they constantly pump out the same shoe or jersey in 100 colors,” Iain told NSS Sports Magazine. “But I think there is something really special in having something that was around for a short time and then never repeated.” It lends a mystique and nobility to something you wouldn’t otherwise give much thought. One of the saddest things I have done on the internet is browse the TRiCKETT archive. A long list of beautifully crafted pieces of fashion, each with its own story, all never to be repeated. Sad, but beautiful.

The Wisdom of Collaboration

There’s no TRiCKETT factory. Iain teams up with the best craftsmen and tells them what he wants to make and why. Sometimes on the product page you’ll find an in-depth video about the manufacturing process. Once I stumbled upon a whole e-magazine about how to make socks. He takes his vision for a piece to the best in the business and lets them do their thing. My favorite example? When Iain tweeted,”So, somehow I have just managed to find the place that manufactured shirts for the wardrobe department of The Sopranos. Would any of you be interested in that type of thing?”

Made in Miami.

The Wisdom of Process

Iain will start by gauging interest in an idea on social media. Then he’ll provide sneak peeks and updates as the product comes to life through design, meeting the factory, development, approval, and retail. In an interview with, Iain said: “Bringing your customers along for the progression is what makes clothing and lifestyle brands exciting.” By the time the product hits the website, you’ve been so involved in the process that it’s both a formality and a joy to buy.

A Valentine’s Day Special

The Wisdom of Accountability

A lot of copywriting happens “in the trenches,” which is to say, a safe-ish distance from the front line. There’s a reputational safety barrier. If your copy flops, the pool of people who know about it is small. But with TRiCKETT, Iain decided to make his name his word: “I liked the idea of the name TRiCKETT as it was my last name and as a result I would have to be accountable for everything I made. It sort of keeps you on your toes in a way as my name is above the door and my reputation is on the line.”

“Something an East London gangster, escaping justice to the Costa del Sol, would wear in the 1970s.” – Iain Trickett

The Wisdom of Novelty

“I want people to feel an element of surprise, that they are part of a club that is truly unique,” Iain says. “In a world where you can get anything on next-day delivery or through a phone screen, being genuinely surprised is something both exciting and rare these days.” When you buy something from TRiCKETT, the real pleasure isn’t in the buying as much as the opening. You know you’ve bought something of quality that’s been made with love. But you can also expect a little something extra in the parcel. Some stickers, a postcard, a pack of Haribo, a handwritten note.

The Wisdom of Freedom

Alex Hormozi once observed that so many marketers start in direct response and end up in branding because “goodwill compounds faster than revenue.” Iain agrees. “The best thing about having your own brand is the freedom to do what you want, when you want. I am lucky that I have a great group of people supporting me and only wanting to see me improve and that really is the most satisfying part.” To go a layer deeper with Seth Godin: “The invisible brands that last, though, realize that the artifact is only an artifact. It’s not the point. It’s a souvenir of the point. The point is that people like us do things like this. Our tribe, our group. That when we see the others, we see ourselves.”

The Wisdom of Sales

“If you look at most big consumer brands, they’re not offering 2 for 1 deals. They’re just talking about the products.” Hormozi again. But TRiCKETT does love a sale. When Napoli won Serie A for the first time since Diego Maradona was playing for them back in 1990, Iain ran a site-wide 40% off sale for the weekend while he was off celebrating: “The accountant will shout, but NAPOLI HAVE WON THE LEAGUE!” He also runs a “Stepped Sale” once a year where discounts start at 20%. But higher discount codes of 30%, 40%, and 50% are available if you hang on a few days. So it becomes a trade-off between getting what you want at a bigger discount or risk it selling out completely. Buying becomes a game.

Stick or twist?

The Wisdom of Belonging

In a world where everything’s remote, online, and available 24/7, Iain Trickett says home and location matter. “Napoli is the only place outside of my hometown of Accrington where my soul has felt at home. The two places couldn’t be more different, but the core beliefs of the two places are almost exactly the same – identity, family and working hard.”

The Wisdom of You

“Unlike most brands, who have a ‘brand’ to uphold, I just have me and my interests,” Iain told The Gentleman Casual. “I think our tastes develop as we get older and see things, or at least we should do. I think the products I stock make sense as they are things that I am interested in and I can articulate why I like them. Then hopefully that passion comes through to customers.” If you ever find yourself wondering why some copy feels so natural, this is your answer. The more you know your product, the better you can write it. As Jim Clair has pointed out: “It’s unfortunate that David Ogilvy’s belief that one should use the product they advertise for is seen as arcane. The more you know about the product, its history, its lineage, and competitors, the greater depth of knowledge and the greater creativity you have at your grasp.”

I could do this for days, but it’s time to wrap up.

I hope to do a round two one day when I’ve made friends with Iain and he lets me interview him. But I’ll leave you with this: I was browsing a glossy weekend magazine the other day and saw a quote from Gela Nash-Taylor, who built the velour tracksuit empire, Juicy Couture:

“A brand isn’t a thing, it’s a person you want to be.”

This is an elegant maxim.

A logical explanation for my appreciation for TRiCKETT.

And a reminder that even with my playing days behind me. . .

I still dream of Diego. 

All pics swiped from