Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 10/11/2012

Men’s marketing veteran Paul Witt has launched the new Wittmore e-commerce site. The online boutique, at Shopwittmore.com, focuses on directional premium and contemporary brands such as Gant Rugger, Ian Velardi, Mark McNairy, Riviera Club, Miansai, Levi’s Vintage Clothing, Sandqvist and Norse Projects.

This story first appeared in the October 11, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“There’s so much excitement in men’s wear now, and I’m really inspired by what’s going on in the marketplace,” said Witt of his new venture. “I’ve helped develop brands, e-commerce and creative services for a number of companies, and I thought the time was right to go for something on my own.”

Witt started his career at Diesel USA, where he spent 10 years in marketing and visual merchandising. He later served as vice president of marketing at Sean John, vice president of global marketing at Mavi and vice president of global marketing and communications at Original Penguin, a unit of Perry Ellis International Inc. Just prior to launching Wittmore, Witt was an independent consultant.

Shopwittmore.com offers an assortment of apparel and accessories, with an emphasis on accessible prices. The most expensive item on the site is an unconstructed blazer from Ian Velardi for $695 and the least expensive are socks from Etiquette Clothiers for $20.

Catering to a heightened interest in country of origin among some shoppers, the site allows customers to filter product via a “made in” tab, which brings up various product sourced from the U.S., England, Italy, Japan and Turkey, among others.

Wittmore is based in Hoboken, N.J., where Witt has opened an office that also serves as a fulfillment center. The self-financed operation buys and stocks its inventory from vendors, and ships to customers, from the Hoboken headquarters.

Witt is playing in a space with better-known competitors like Asos, Mr Porter and Bonobos, as well as newer sites like Ikkon.com, which was launched earlier this spring by retired Ukrainian soccer star Andriy Shevchenko and his wife, Kristen Pazik-Shevchenko. Ikkon sells designer and contemporary brands like Rick Owens, Surface to Air, J. Lindeberg and AG Adriano Goldschmied.

The competitive field was trimmed last month when Gilt Groupe said it would shutter its full-price Park & Bond site in January. Similarly, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Esquire magazine closed its Cladmen site in April.

Since launching this fall, accessories have been Wittmore’s top sellers, including small leather goods, bags, scarves, jewelry and neckwear.