I am married to a former competitive bodybuilder. Buying clothing has always been a problem, so we decided to try to solve it. We started a clothing line on the side.
Most products aimed at athletes and bodybuilders take themselves So. Very. Seriously. We didn’t want to do that. We wanted to be a little fun, a little silly, a little snarky, more than a little inspired by the comic book characters that inspired many bodybuilders to want to get big. This will most certainly NOT be Styleforum-approved. You will not see this at Pitti Uomo or carrying the #menswear hashtag, except ironically.
The pandemic messed us up, as it has just about everyone, so we are a year late in our plans. We have spent a lot of money putting this together and there have been many moments I have asked myself if we were doing something stupid. We bought booth space at four bodybuilding competitions and even though our product line is incomplete, we decided to come and do a preview anyway at the NPC Teen Collegiate Masters Nationals Championship in Pittsburgh. We will be in Buffalo, and then back in Pittsburgh for the Masters Pro show, and then officially launch our brand at the Mr. Olympia weekend in Orlando in October.
We brought tryon sizes of some of our product line (but unfortunately not of our signature item) for our first show this week. We hope to do most of our business on a made-to-order and eventually made-to-measure basis so we thought we could measure people, give them their size information, and when they’re ready they could go online and order product, and it has been well received so far. But we made one sale today that really cheered me up.
We met a gentleman at the show today. Or more properly, a gorilla. He thought our concept was fun but he never goes anywhere he needs to dress in anything other than sweats or shorts and tank tops. He works in shorts and tank tops. We asked him if there were things he might have done but declined to do because he didn’t have the right clothes for it and he shrugged. I measured his chest at 51″ or 129.5 cm, and his waist is 33″ or 83.8 cm. That’s a whopping 18″ drop. The average American male is 3″. No wonder he has never even attempted to find clothes. So I asked if I could put one of our tryon jackets on him, just so he could feel it. Our casual, COMPLETELY unlined, unstructured, shell of a jacket.
We put a lot of work and research into developing just the right fabric for this, and it is made in the United States. The garments themselves are made in Rochester, NY and I put a lot of work and thought into drafting and grading these patterns. And an equal amount of thought to constructing these garments as if the were being made by Under Armour or Gymshark. Normal people are hard to put into ready-to-wear; bodybuilders were going to be a real challenge.
But when he put the jacket on he was astounded at how comfortable it felt. I was writing down his size information so he could go online and purchase something when he said “Hold on. I don’t want to take this off. Can I just pay for this one and leave with it?” Tomorrow is our last day at the 4 day show so I thought, well, why not? I’ll just make another tryon and if I happen to get another person that big between now and tomorrow, I’ll figure it out. Then he turned to his lady friend and said “Let’s go out tonight. Let’s do something fancy!”
That’s when I started to really believe we may be on to something.
Visit us at buffery.us