Social Engagement Boosts Quirky Clothing Line
The Elope Dress, designed for the vastly underserved secret-wedding market. Gluttony Pants, featuring an expanding waistline in three size settings (piglet, sow, boar). Sock Insurance, a nifty $13 add-on for a year of single-sock replacements. These are some of the tweet-friendly products unleashed by San Francisco-based online fashion upstart Betabrand, whose founder, Chris Lindland, is on a mission to create the world's first truly social clothing company.
"My thought was if the company could be more like a blog, we'd get a lot of attention," he says. He points to Betabrand's core strategy of injecting shareable, conversational elements into every design by feeding off the news cycle and blogger communities. For example, the company's Executive Pinstripe Hoodie (part of the West Coast Workwear collection) was released to coincide with Facebook's IPO--resulting in "out of control" press coverage, Lindland says. (It still makes up 25 percent of Betabrand's total sales.) Meanwhile, the bestselling Bike to Work pants blew up thanks to support from the passionate biker blogosphere.
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