by Ryan O’Connell
When the words “startup” or “emerging company” come up, it’s not often that one thinks of fashion. Perhaps one of the hardest industries to break into, fashion can be as innovative or unique as the designer chooses to make it — but if she wants to establish a well-known brand, she’s got to either be on the cutting edge or addressing needs that major brands aren’t.
Below are four companies that are disrupting their particular niches in fashion and redefining what innovation, style, comfort, and looking good mean.
Beckett Simonon specializes in high-quality designer men’s shoes at an affordable price. The collection ranges from classic dress shoes to stylish boots. In order to meet its consumers’ needs, the company purposefully keeps rates below $150 and focuses on details to create a modestly priced, value-packed option for shoe shoppers. By cutting out unnecessary middlemen, Beckett Simonon is able to deliver high-quality shoes, boots, and loafers for a price that’s reasonable. With over 15 styles and color schemes, shoppers are sure to find something that fits their taste without breaking the bank.
Mizzen+Main is changing the face of the fashion industry with its revolutionary men’s dress shirts that combine performance fabrics with the refined look of a traditional dress shirt. The company’s taken the best elements of advanced fabrics previously reserved for athletes — moisture-wicking, wrinkle-free, easy care, four-way stretch — and handcrafted the perfect dress shirt with a tailored fit unlike anything else. They originally started with dress shirts and have since expanded to include henleys, blazers, and other garments in their collection. Their products are designed with athletes in mind; both the fabric and the garment itself focus on creating a superior, off-the-rack fit. People have responded very positively to Mizzen+Main’s commitment to American manufacturing.
Sock 101 is a company devoted to unique and intricate fashion, and it directs its attention to establishing unbeatable prices for swanky socks. Its creators’ vision is to provide socks at the bargain price of only $7. Concentrating on a great look for a great value and built for the young professional, Sock 101’s hip, quality socks have become a hit with every age group and gender. The company’s coolest promotion is its Sock of the Month Club, where subscribers receive a different Sock 101 each month.
Bow & Drape unites original style with high-tech capabilities. By incorporating current fashion trends with personal tastes, the brand is able to create a real connection between women and their clothing. In just 14 days, professionals create a detailed, one-of-a-kind garment. Designers at Bow & Drape give customers the ability to create clothing in the patterns and materials they adore. Similar to Mizzen+Main, Bow & Drape prides itself on manufacturing everything right here in the United States.
Not only are these up-and-comers redefining their specific niches, but they’re also raising questions about how things could — and should — be done. It just goes to show that curing common customer pain points with quality, a reasonable price, and at least a little bit of style goes a long way.
Ryan O’Connell is Vice President at Influence & Co., a company that helps experts build their businesses through thought leadership and content marketing by producing high-quality content for reputable publications. You can reach out to Ryan on Twitter @Oconnellryan or on Google+.