"Why don't they make corduroy pants that go the other way?" Chris Lindland's ques-tion was more an effort to fit in with his girlfriend's design colleagues than a business idea. But last year, Lindland, 33, of San Francisco, started taking the idea seriously. In January, he and partner Enrique Landa, 27, produced their first pair of horizontally striped corduroy pants. "They looked totally normal," says Lindland. So the two invested $8,000 in pants and an e-commerce site, and three weeks later, the pants were on The New York Times style page.
Cordarounds.com (the pants are only available online) now sells about 20 pairs of pants a day. Last summer, the partners introduced Summerounds, horizontally striped seersucker pants, which Lindland expects will help boost the company's first-year revenue to between $150,000 and $250,000.
Men's pants and jackets and women's skirts and jackets are now available, and the line will soon include other apparel. "It's an idea Seinfeld's Kramer might have come up with," says Lindland. "But he probably wouldn't be able to get it off the ground."