Made in Hackney: ‘The decline of British manufacturing gave me determination to set up Fanclub’

Aysen wearing one of her Fanclub jumpers

Aysen wearing one of her Fanclub jumpers - Credit: Fanclub

Each week we take to the streets to uncover something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week we speak to Aysen Bayram who became more determined to set up her own clothing brand after witnessing the effect of the decline of British manufacturing on her family’s clothing factory.

Aysen Bayram designs the patterns for her “colourful and humorous” knitwear label Fanclub in her studio in Darnley Road, Hackney Central.

She makes most of the clothes there too out of natural fibres using Brother knitting machines although some pieces are made by hand in the Scottish Boarders.

She started making her own clothes aged 12, inspired by watching her professional dressmaker mother pattern cut and sew.

Her parents also used to own an East End factory in the early 80s, making clothes for Topshop and other high street brands, until they began sourcing overseas.

Aysen, who worked for Tommy Hilfiger before setting up Fanclub - whose name is inspired by a ‘gentleman’s nightclub’ in the film Buffalo 66 - said: “Fanclub was the natural evolution of a personal project I was working on. I was creating knitted animal portraits and a jumper seemed to be the next step.

“It was definitely something that was on the cards for me, especially seeing the effect the decline of British manufacturing had on the family business.”