Just because you’re in the mood to dress down, it doesn’t mean you have to completely give up. DEN Loungewear is the hot new brand bringing a bit of refinement to your relaxation gear and Gay London Life speaks with the force behind the venture, Glenn Scott.
Not to start on a complete downer, but lockdown was a time of great reflection for many people. Glenn Scott was one of them. He had worked as a buyer for some of the UK’s biggest fashion brands, but he’d always had the idea of starting his own collection at the back of his mind. When he was made redundant at the start of the pandemic, he decided to give it a go and plowed his payout into some of his own designs — DEN Loungewear was born.
“I saw a gap int he market for loungewear geared towards gay guys,” says Scott. “Something that was sexy, but not necessarily designed for sex. I love my union suit, but a lot of the time I’m watching Eastenders in it with a bag of kettle chips on my lap.”
Using the contacts he’d built up from his years in fashion buying, he started off with a small range of socks and underwear. However, with time and the assistance of his partner Mark, this offering grew to include the brand’s now-iconic union suits, as well as other suggestions from regular customers.
“Somebody asked if we’d make caps, so now we’re making those as well,” says Scott. “That’s one of the things that’s important to me about DEN — I want it to feel like a community. That’s why we ask customers to be models in our campaigns and we work with queer artists, too.”
You only have to look at the brand’s recent collaboration with Craig Lomax to see this in action. This includes a selection of T-shirts emblazoned with the artist’s sizzling hot lino-print drawings of men in varying states of undress.
One of these features a man holding up a placard marching alongside another with the slogan ‘HIV Time’s Up’ on his shirt — all profits from this go to the Terrence Higgins Trust’s efforts to end HIV transmissions.
“THT has always been an important cause for me and it’s great to able to give back through DEN,” says Scott.
After a successful 2023 during which the brand has flourished, Scott has big plans for next year. As well as more artistic collaborations, he’s got his eyes on expanding into swimwear and beach towels. He’d also love for DEN Loungewear to be stocked in other retailers.
“If there are any stores out there that would like to stock our products, please get in touch!”
There is one drawback to all this success, however.
“I’ve always included handwritten notes in customers’ deliveries. This was manageable at the start, but now there’s so many more, I feel a bit like Lisa Scott-Lee at an album signing! I wouldn’t have it any other way, though.”
Stuck for gifts?
Buying Xmas prezzies can be tough. We asked Glenn for some advice on what to get your nearest and dearest.
The other half?
“The classic long-sleeved union suit. People always message me afterwards saying “my boyfriend loves it and I love seeing them in it!” A win-win.”
The Secret Santa gift for the colleague you fancy?
“You can play it safe and get them some of our lovely socks, but you could always push your luck and get them a jock — it depends on your relationship with HR.”
The uncle you see twice a year?
“A nice crew-neck sweat to keep them warm while they’re outside tinkering about with cars and doing other uncley things.”