It is a good time to be on the hunt for men’s shoes. While 2009 through 2012 saw a rush to market for online men’s suits, 2013 and now 2014 are seemingly all about shoes. Launched last year, the founders of New York-based Paul Evans are betting that, like suits, men will get comfortable with buying dress shoes online.
Todd Shelton has his hands full. Two years ago this month, the Tennessee-born menswear designer decided to move manufacturing of his classic, already-American-made lineup of shirts, knits, jeans and pants in-house.
Vinnie Sikka is a man who prioritizes physical over digital. While his online dress shirting business Deo Veritas relies on customer clicks, he’ll tell you he is more concerned about the quality of his shirts than a slick online interface.
It has been a whirlwind couple of months for Ricky Choi and Phil Moldavski, the Living Social alumni behind the Washington, DC-based menswear staples startup Nice Laundry.
Several online retailers set up shop in Georgetown this holiday season, offering DC residents an opportunity to touch fabrics, try on clothes and get to know their brands offline. Modern Fellows toured pop ups put on by Richmond-based Ledbury and Washington, DC’s Read Wall this week and captured some photos of what’s on offer.
It is a challenge to keep up with crowd-funding these days. Since Kickstarter and similar platforms have proven themselves to be useful pre-order mechanisms for fashion startups, the sheer number of campaigns has exploded. While it is impossible to review them all, Modern Fellows caught up with two promising companies online right now on Kickstarter: Proper Socks and Hucklebury.
“Welcome to the hat shop!” Ben Goorin is standing at the door to his company’s new Georgetown outpost, offering a hearty greeting to a steady stream of shoppers. It has been a busy eight years for the fourth generation CEO who, since taking over the business, has opened nearly 30 retail stores selling American-made hats directly to men and women.
One of the few incubators in the United States at the intersection of fashion and technology, Stitch Factory is looking to help build the kind of hip, tech-savvy destination for entrepreneurs envisioned by Zappos.com CEO, Tony Hsieh, who is embarking on a SimCity-of-sorts project to reboot downtown Las Vegas.
Thanks to the internet, Thailand-based custom necktie maker Sam Hober carefully manufactures custom ties for clients around the world. The company offers a variety of silk, wool, linen and cotton ties, scarves, and pocket squares to a global customer base while boasting of the largest selection of solid grenadines in the world. Modern Fellows ordered a tie from Sam Hober
In Las Vegas earlier this week, startups at the intersection of technology and fashion discussed developing a global brand from day one and highlighted opportunities associated with participating in the international marketplace.
Digital retail startups have blossomed over the past five years, but continue to wrestle with how to overcome an inherent-limitation to their model: a lack of a physical presence where customers can interact with their products and get a feel for the company. In response, some menswear entrepreneurs are banding together to create new retail channels to attract a broader customer base.