UP CLOSE in Ealing with Black Dress Code

By Dimitris Kouimtsidis

26th Aug 2021 | Local News

Ealing Nub News aims to support our community, promoting shops, businesses, charities, clubs and sports groups.

We will be profiling some of these businesses and organisations regularly in a feature called 'UP CLOSE.'

Today we caught up with Daniella Gluck, the Ealing owner of Black Dress Code.

Daniella Gluck has been around music for over 15 years, starting when her daughter, Julia, asked Father Christmas for a violin when she was five years old.

Over the year's Julia's interest in music grew, which in turn also meant that Daniella became more involved too.

When Julia was nine years old, she needed a floor length black skirt as part of a performance.

Daniella, who's originally from South Africa but moved to Ealing 40 year ago, was astounded with how difficult it was to find the right item of clothing and ended up in the woman's section in M&S to find something suitable.

She told Nub News: "I ended up buying her a skirt that seemed quite 'old lady like' to be perfectly honest - it really wasn't nice."

As the years went on and her daughter grew up - having successfully received a full scholarship to the Royal College of Music - Daniella would often ask other parents about where they shopped for their performance outfits.

The answer was always the same: "We go to M&S or Monsoon at sale time.

Christmas sales are the one time shops sell off their party pieces and musicians trawl through those racks, looking for that one piece of clothing that is not covered in bling or frill and that will allow them freedom to move and play.

That's when she realised that there was a gap in the market, as no one had catered to this part of the music world.

Daniella, who used to work as a financial journalist, had no idea how to run her own business, but in 2016 decided to set up Black Dress Code.

She said: "Being a musician is like running a marathon during an exam.

"You have to memorise a book and regurgitate it with interpretation, while performing very physically, usually in ill-designed clothes that restrict your movement.

"At Black Dress Code we offer musicians purpose-designed clothing, allowing them complete freedom of breath and movement.

"Our shirts are made in the high end of the industry, using top designers and luxury Italian fabrics."

Since the company's launch five years ago, Daniella has sold her clothing in over 20 countries around the world and has a team around her to help with running the business.

She has recently launched in China, which is a huge market for musicians, with more than 100 million children under the age of 12 learning to play the piano.

Since 2019 however, Brexit has had an effect on her sales.

She said: "Even before the transition period, many musicians lost their contracts to perform in the EU - they could not be sure they would be able to show up for planned concerts.

"With falling incomes, they no longer needed our clothes."

Since January the situation has been exacerbated and sales to Europe have had to be suspended.

"We even had one situation where we had to pay £60 in order to sort out an import problem with Ireland.

"Brexit just caused added difficulties, piled on top of a global pandemic."

Her call now is for potential investors, who would like to help her grow the business further.

"I've managed to create all of this with just my own savings.

"With an investor who knows how far we could grow.

"We offer a unique and useful product to a global market."

     

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