NEW YORK — Williamsburg continues to have an underground scene, literally.
Take friends Paul Marlow and Matthew Sandager, for instance. The duo behind Kadorable, the T-shirt subscription service that has quietly been gathering a fan base with fashion types, works out of a hidden cellar below a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, sewing factory, where it hand-presses cool prints onto T-shirts, then dries them on clothing racks and sends them out to subscribers each month.
Marlow, 32, met Sandager, 33, through a mutual friend in 2000 and moved to Williamsburg in 2001, when they launched Kadorable.
"We used to say we loved jeans and sneakers and always had a great version of those, but we didn't have any great T-shirts to go with them," Sandager said. "So we decided to make our own."
The duo creates a new T-shirt motif each month, which is limited to the collection's subscribers, who pay $145 for a subscription of five monthly T-shirts. The idea for the subscription service came to them when a friend who saw one of the T-shirts liked them so much that he preordered and paid for five on the spot.
"We call them 'five issues.' It's like a magazine," Sandager said. "You don't know what's on the cover until you get it."
They draw their inspiration from art, music and general graphics, ranging from the artwork of Ed Ruscha and David Wojnarowicz to general photos of airplanes or surfers. The latest 'issue,' for instance, is a yellow T-shirt with a brown digital print that is inspired by the duo's love of the "quickly diminishing analogue world and, well, coffee," Marlow said. It was sent out earlier this month.
The company currently has around 100 subscribers, from Los Angeles to Amsterdam and Ghana. Tuleh's Bryan Bradley was recently given a subscription as a gift by a friend. "It's kind of fun when they arrive, and due to my advanced stages of dementia, I always forget that they're coming," Bradley said. "The fit is great, the colors are right on."
Marlow and Sandager also wholesale several T-shirt designs to stores such as Butter and Pullover in New York, Motley in Boston, Atmosphere and Uncle Jer's in Los Angeles, Hejfina in Chicago and Kuhlman's and Okok in Seattle. A T-shirt wholesales for $19, with a suggested retail price of $38. Sandager said they're currently looking for a manufacturer to help them with wholesale production.
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)