IT has been almost 12 years since brothers Rob and Paul Forkan lost their parents in the Boxing Day tsunami that hit South East Asia.
In that time, they’ve managed to set up an international charity for orphaned children, establish a popular clothing and footwear brand to help fund it, travel the world, write a book and build a children’s home Sri Lanka.
Now they can add a brand new flagship store to their impressive list of achievements following the official launch of Gandys in Spitalfields last week. What started as a line of ethically sourced flip flops to help support their charity Orphans for Orphans has evolved into a wide range of apparel and accessories for men and women with a huge celebrity fan base. Gandys’ flip flops have been spotted the famous feet of Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver, One Direction’s Niall Horan and Stephen Fry.
It has been a huge couple of months for the brothers, who opened their first ever bricks and mortar retail space in Cornwall in June. The Spitalfields flagship is the brand’s first standalone store in London, having previously sold its range online and through various stockists.
“We realised that by building a brand we can make more of a difference,” Rob says. “We are looking to open more stores in the South East over the coming months, the next being in Tunbridge Wells,” Paul added.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also thrown his support behind the brand. “Gandys have had such an inspiring journey so far and it is nothing short of amazing what they have achieved,” he said in a statement. “Their enterprise was born out of grief and it has yielded a legacy that will likely outlast them.
“Rob and Paul should be so proud of this milestone in their journey. “I know that they will reach many milestones in the months and years to come and that people, home and abroad, will benefit from their dedication, vision and hard work.”
Gandys is at 105c Commercial Street E1 6BG or available online at gandyslondon.com