A group of Under Armour Inc. ex-pats have turned their attention to denim with Revtown, a new and tightly focused, product-obsessed direct-to-consumer play.
“It took us over a year to develop the jeans,” said Henry Stafford, founder and chief executive officer. “There is a reason that there are not a million start-ups in products. Products are hard to do right.”
Revtown, which launched this week, has two styles of men’s jeans, Sharp and Automatic, which sell for $75 and are made with what the brand calls Decade Denim, a patented fabric featuring four-way dynamic stretch. The brand also launched with shirts in four styles and has a women’s collection in the works for next year.
Revtown is informed by management’s long experience at Under Armour and is part of the still-growing trend of companies — from Allbirds to American Giant to Rhone — seeking to stand out with a focus on functionality, quality and a tight assortment.
Stafford and chief marketing officer Steve Battista spent nearly a decade together at Under Armour, where they were leaders of product and brand, respectively. Also among the company’s founders are Matthew Maasdam, who is chief digital officer and formerly ran Under Armour’s e-commerce operations, and chief financial officer Chris Lust.
While many companies make the majority of their profits off something like 10 percent of their assortment, Stafford said Revtown was an effort to just produce that 10 percent.
“That enables us to keep inventory really low,” said Stafford, adding that the approach frees up capital to put back into product and pricing. “It’s hard to maintain focus and some of the businesses out there that actually we are really looking at and respect are those with very focused models. Look at Tesla, the amount of models that Tesla would carry versus a company that is coming out with 18 new models a year.”
Now the challenge is to bring in customers.
Stafford said the brand would focus on social marketing and the use of influencers.
But Revtown, like all brands today, has to speak clearly to get through.
“The attention span of a customer online is far less than what it was 15 years ago, than someone walking into a store for two-and-a-half minutes,” Stafford said. “They’re only online [and focused] for six or seven seconds.”
That gives the brand just about enough time to say “Revtown” and “jeans” and catch the consumer’s attention as it tries to make its mark.