Hugh & Crye
(H&C), a Georgetown menswear company that seeks to smarten up the average male in dress clothes, has launched a $30,000 Kickstarter campaign
to sell custom fitted T-shirts. Four days in, the company met its goal, and with three weeks left on the 30-day campaign, founder and CEO Pranav Vora reports that H&C has raised $39,000.
Though tees may seem a departure for a company that normally focuses on tailored dress shirts and blazers, Vora says that most men have two types of T-shirts: they're either "outdated, collegiate shirts with nostalgic value or ill-fitting. And they're not mutually exclusive." On the whole, he says, tees "drape terribly and can be incredibly unflattering." Once someone gets in the habit of buying tees in a certain size, they stop looking to see how they actually fit. But fit matters, he says, in casual wear as well as dress wear.
H&C is building an opportunity on the Kickstarter campaign for customers to peek behind the scenes and give some feedback to the team. At the $100 and $180 levels, backers can join a "Creative Council" to "vent, create and advocate," Vora says. "[Council members] can give qualitative feedback, [whether it's] on style, color, marketing or sizing—we'll be open to that." He also hopes that the Council will be a way for H&C to scale the word-of-mouth marketing that is already working in the company's favor. "The Creative Council will hopefully create a great relationship between us and our customers. We're excited to pull back the curtain and let people in."
T-shirts for backers run $20 for one and $60 for a three-pack, but Vora isn't sure what the price point will be after the campaign finishes. "We'll tease that out with the Creative Council," he says. "We're just thrilled with the demand we've seen already. We're still getting backers every day."
H&C has been growing by leaps and bounds. In January
, the company had only four employees. Now, they are hiring four
and Vora says, "My goal is to be at 24 by the end of the year. It feels great to be moving in that direction." The increase in staff has meant securing additional workspace beyond the O Street location in Georgetown; H&C now maintains additional offices at WeWork at the Wonder Bread Factory