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York-based clothing business, Warpaint, announces major rebrand

Dec Connolly Editor

Email business@thebusinessjournal.co.uk

Warpaint, the specialist clothing manufacturer inspired by a young York woman’s brave battle with cancer, today unveils its new name, – And Able – logo, brand identity, photography and an e-commerce website, www.and-able.com, in a move that is set to bring exciting new opportunities for growth. 

And Able provides a range of clothing which has been expertly designed for people with life-altering illnesses, and those undergoing treatment. As UK and International customer demand increased, the Founders of the business appointed York Brand Management agency, NIMA, to refresh the brand for a global audience. 

The name, And Able, encompasses the brand’s vision to “enable” and “empower” customers. The logo features a DNA strand that symbolises the unique structure of life with a beautiful nod to the human instinct to fight, live and thrive.

Following its launch in April this year at York Fashion Week, the business has attracted phenomenal interest. A celebrity entrepreneur is helping to kickstart the fledgling business and in addition to championing the rebrand, is providing invaluable advice and guidance around refining the target audience, product development, sourcing materials, stock and quality control, business management skills as well as cornering overseas markets. And the Co-founders are set to make their first appearance on national television later this year. 

Warpaint is the brainchild of Joanne Nicholson and business partner and best friend – Claire Myles Wharton – who are on a mission to provide comfortable yet stylish clothing that has been subtly adapted and can be worn by patients having hospital treatment and procedures for cancer and other illnesses. The duo developed and launched the concept in memory of Joanne’s daughter Emily Rhodes, who died from a brain tumour in April 2019. 

Joanne Nicholson wanted to focus her life on doing something to help other people. Her business partner, Claire Myles Wharton, who is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer, is also passionate about helping others going through a similar experience to herself. 

Joanne Nicholson explained: “The response to the business has been incredible so far, beyond anything that we could possibly have imagined. We’re confident that this exciting rebrand will further support the growth and expansion of And Able. But ultimately, our fundamental aim is to help more people avoid the looks, whispering and other stigma’s normally associated with serious illness – so they don’t have to suffer the same plight that my daughter did. Emily deserved to keep her dignity and I’m determined to help other people who might be on a similar journey.”

Today’s announcement comes on what would have been Emily’s 28th birthday and is a fitting tribute to the young lady who was the inspiration behind the business venture. It coincides with the launch of the new Autumn Winter 2022 collection which includes fashionable pieces with carefully placed openings, non-metal zips, pouches, drawstrings and tourniquets that allow access to, for example, chemotherapy ports, stoma bags, catheters and drains. The new collection includes the Loci hoodie with detachable hood, zipster leggings, wrap dress, headscarves and snoods, and elegant dresses with zips down the front allowing access for mammograms, central lines, peg feeds and pace makers. 

Claire Myles Wharton added: “We’re really excited to unveil the new collection which features lifestyle pieces and even more adaptable fashion. The stunning new imagery really shows how you can marry accessibility and fashion together, and it’s just the start of our next chapter!”

The business, which is self-funded, has an office at the Catalyst at the University of York, home to a host of innovative start-up businesses. They already hold a clothes rail within Fabrication 19 on Coney Street in York, but plan to open a consultation space so that people diagnosed with a range of illnesses can gain specialist advice on what items of clothing will help with their treatment. 

Joanne and Claire, who are solely responsible for the designing, pattern cutting and manufacturing of the clothing lines, are now seeking more local and national retailers to stock the range.