Socks are often seen as a last-minute stocking stuffer, but Fortis Green founder Ray Willmoth is determined to transform them into a luxury gift item.
“We are a beautiful way for stores to add a luxury product to their gift selection at a price point that customers can easily justify,” says Willmoth. “Fortis Green socks add a beautiful pop of colour to in-store merchandising displays and we are equally popular with both male and female customers.
“As the brand continues to grow, we are firmly focused on making Fortis Green name synonymous with luxury men’s socks.”
A decade living in the north London suburb of Fortis Green and working in the fashion industry provided Willmoth with the inspiration to launch his business when he returned home to Melbourne in 2014.
“After years in the men’s accessories industry, it was clear there was a gap in the market for a luxury sock brand that placed equal emphasis on design and technical specifications,” he says.
He partnered with the ‘Rolls Royce’ of European sock manufacturers to create a range that is knitted from Egyptian cotton and hand finished, ensuring a luxe result.
“Each individual sock is finished by hand and we have utilised innovative production methods to improve their construction,” Willmoth explains. “This includes adding soft, single ribbed cuffs that won’t fall down and reinforcing the heels and toes to prevent holes.”
Fortis Green’s current collection was inspired by iconic art deco posters from the 1930s. For example, the check pattern sock in teal was designed around the colour pallet of artist Pierre Bellenger’s poster for the Hamburg America transatlantic shipping line.
“We use timeless, masculine colour combinations that have a sartorial edge but are easy to coordinate with any man’s outfit,” says Willmoth.
“Perhaps the best aspect of establishing Fortis Green has been the ability to produce a beautiful signature sock collection without compromising on any aspect of colour, materials and construction.”
The brand’s new range of three pack gift boxes, which launched at Life Instyle Melbourne, will hit shelves in time for Christmas.
By Ruth Cooper