FREDERICTON– The co-founder of a New Brunswick-based fashion company is back as its CEO after taking almost a two-year mental health break.
Kyle MacNevin is the co-founder and now CEO of Wear Your Label, a clothing company that aims to reduce the stigma around mental health through fashion. The company got its start back in 2014 as a university project with co-founder Kayley Reed. Wear Your Label got major traction, receiving international media attention and even a spot at New York Fashion Week. MacNevin stepped down from the company back in September 2016 to focus on his mental health after a suicide attempt.
“I always intended to return to WYL, I just had to take a break to prioritize my personal mental and emotional well-being,” said MacNevin, in an email interview with Huddle. “In order to be an effective leader, sometimes we have to first take care of ourselves. I feel that if I did not leave, I would not be living up to the brand’s reputation of placing such a high value on self-care.”
MacNevin rejoined the company as CEO back in May, about five months after Wear Your Label’s other co-founder and then CEO Kayley Reed announced she was stepping down.
“When Kayley chose to resign, it was a choice she made in her best interest. When we founded Wear Your Label, it was built on the foundation that mental health and well-being should always come first,” said MacNevin.
“I only began my official role as majority share owner and CEO in May. During that time, I began an audit and communication with customers, key stakeholders and various other partners focused on future growth for Wear Your Label.”
Though MacNevin is working on taking Wear Your Label forward, he said he is also working to right some wrongs. On the company’s Instagram page, some customers have commented on posts complaining that they still haven’t received orders they made as far back as October 2017. Though this was before he rejoined the company, it’s a situation MacNevin plans to rectify.
“We acknowledge that the last year has been a challenging one, and we are in the process of putting a plan in place to address and improve upon customer service inquiries and to make good on those orders,” he said. “My main goal as the CEO is to be transparent and service our customers through this joint effort to promote conversation around mental health, and I am confident that we are heading in the right direction to correct this situation.”
When it comes to where the company will go next, MacNevin has already made an impressive move in taking Wear Your Label to the next level. This month, the company announced a new partnership with Hudson’s Bay Company, one of the largest retailers in North America, for its new #TheFutureisStigmaFree t-shirt campaign. The t-shirt is a Wear Your Label product being sold exclusively online at Hudson Bay, Saks 5th Ave, Lord & Taylor, and Saks Off 5th. Wear Your Label is now in discussion with the Hudson’s Bay Company about future plans.
“This is just the beginning. The next several months will reveal a lot about the improvements we are making,” said MacNevin. “For now, we are focusing on making a great product and strengthening our supply chain and infrastructure to ensure the company is ready for bigger and more meaningful partnerships.”
MacNevin is pretty tight-lipped on Wear Your Label’s next moves but says people can expect more news and partnerships announced later this summer and fall.
“We are working very hard to show the world what Wear Your Label can do,” he says. “Over the next several months we will continue to share new stories, partnerships and opportunities.”