Red or Dead

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For the 2013 novel, see Red or Dead (novel).
Red or Dead
Industry Fashion
Founded 1982
Headquarters London, UK
Products Spectacles, footwear, watches

Red or Dead is a fashion designer and manufacturer, started in London in 1982 by Wayne Hemingway and his wife Gerardine Hemingway. They design products such as shoes, spectacles, bags and watches.


In 1982, Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway opened a stall on Camden Market, London to sell items from their wardrobes.[1] Within a year they had expanded to sixteen stalls of second hand clothes, purchased from all over the world.[2] The company's name (Red or Dead) refers both to an inversion of the Cold War slogan "Better dead than red", and to Wayne's Red Indian ancestors.[1]

The Hemingways began making and retailing their own designs. Wayne later explained their goal "to be the first designer company that sold to everyday people." London Fashion Week snubbed them at first on the grounds that designer fashion was meant to be elitist, but later relented, and Red or Dead won the British Fashion Council's Streetstyle Designer of the Year Award from 1995 to 1997.[1][2]

In 1995 they sold the brand to Stephen Hinchliffe's Facia Group.[3] Facia collapsed the next year, and receivers sold Red or Dead back to the Hemingways. At that time it was counted as "one of the UK's leading fashion chains", employing more than 100 people.[4]

In 1998, Red or Dead was sold to the Pentland Group.

Red or Dead products[edit]

Red or Dead expanded its product base and it currently includes footwear, clothing, fashion handbags, optical frames, swimwear and "glorious gussets" hosiery. The brand is also used on fragrance from The Perfume Shop and fashion versions of Raleigh bicycles.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Chris Jones (8 November 2002). "Wayne Hemingway: Earnest about design". BBC News. 
  2. ^ a b History of Red or Dead on official website
  3. ^ Patrick Tooher (7 January 1996). "Mr Hinchliffe and his amazing shopping list". The Independent. London. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  4. ^ John Willcock; Nic Cicutti (17 June 1996). "Red or Dead and Sock Shop find buyers". The Independent. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Product pages on official website. Retrieved 21 August 2012.

Further reading[edit]

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