Toulouse: “Din Rugby shows our passion for this sport”
10 years ago, Julien Tourtoulou and Jean-Charles Maurat, a former rugby union player, founded Religion Rugby. Their French fashion brand aims to democratize the values of rugby. Return to the success story with Julien Tourtoulou.
Now 40, former rugby player Julien Tourtoulou, Colomiers’ 3rd in line, is taking charge of the clothing brand he started, Religion Rugby.
How did your clothing brand come about 10 years ago?
It was a joint creation with Jean-Charles Maurat, a soldier and Saint-Cyria. After thinking about it all summer, we decided to create Religion Rugby. First, it is a story of friendship. Marion joined our team 2 years ago.
Why this name?
We are also from a rugby family, rather than going to mass on Sundays, we prefer to go to the stadium to support or play the teams. Hence the name: Religion Rugby, through textiles we express our passion for this sport.
You started with your Livret A deposit, i.e. €15,000. ..
Of course, we started with three economies. One thing led to another, we managed to sell over a million pieces. Which is not bad.
What values does your brand embody?
Religion Rugby has replaced the names of the XV players who make up the team of 15 values emblazoned on our fifteen polo shirts. For us, each player embodies one of these values. For example, number 1 is solidarity; 2, passion; 3, courage, etc… And to encourage people to overcome differences and prejudices, Religion Rugby also displays a discreet checkerboard pattern on the sleeves of these models. A symbol inspired by this Anglo-Saxon musical movement that fought against racism in the 80s by combining black and white (the colors of the checkerboard). We also wanted to defend this case.
At the end of your rugby career, it’s professional retraining. Why did you choose this path?
At the end of my career, several opportunities were presented to me, including in the insurance field. I preferred the human adventure with Jean-Charles Maurat, which worked immediately and met realistic expectations. We persevered and today our labor is paying off.
Have you always had a passion for fashion?
Yes, I have always loved fashion and dressing well. Today I can even tell the difference between pique cotton, jersey, polyester or elastane.
On the occasion of the 2023 Rugby Cup, you present the “Le monde ou Rien” collection. What is it about?
Religion Rugby is aimed at a niche market, so we try to offer capsule collections where we tell a different story. The Rugby World Cup in France will be a great celebration, we had to create a special collection. It relies on many players who have World Cup options or will play them, such as Romain Taofifenua and Yoram Moefana. They are our two ambassadors. So they also signed unique models of polo shirts, T-shirts, T-shirts, T-shirts and limited editions (collectors). They have created exclusive limited edition collections for our inspirations, Fabien Pelous, Christian Califano… who also commemorate their sports careers. We want Religion Rugby to be truly intergenerational. Transmission is very important to us.
So your brand is primarily aimed at rugby fans?
Of course. It’s also a way to keep living these legends that make us want to. In addition, we sell items that are a little more discreet.
You also have a place for art in your collections. In 2023, Jean-Pierre Rives will lend you a job…
Jean-Pierre was our brand ambassador some time ago. We created the Art et la marinière collection, which highlights the artist’s work. We have already focused on the creations of Julien Soone, Kiko, Zoulliart, Lecoultre, Jazzu. For the 2023 Jean-Pierre Rives Rugby World Cup, we will produce a canvas full of symbols, from which we will create textile objects.
Where can we find your articles?
We currently have an ephemera shop in the Nailloux stamp village until the sale ends. Otherwise, we can be found mostly on our website or in our showroom at Tournefeuille (14 bd Marcel Paul) during business hours.