The young direct-to-consumer brand, started in 2017, continues to move quickly to nab share and refine its voice in a competitive market. It entered the fray with its branded product tops and hoodies bearing the company’s signature stitch detailing. Now, it’s curated a more wearable offering for multiple occasions with a basics line named Classics by Madhappy launching Thursday. The 11 styles max out at 40 stockkeeping units in men’s, women’s and unisex sizing.
“We think that this will allow our consumers that want [the product] to be able to buy [it] more often,” said cofounder Peiman Raf. “We expect to keep these in stock and not be on a limited basis. We’ll add colorways a few times a year and then alongside that, we’ll continue to do our capsules and collaborations.”
The range includes French terry hoodies ($130), sweats ($100), women’s crewneck ($100) and T-shirts ($60). There are also combed cotton heavyweight sweats for $150 and crewneck retailing for $120.
It’s also a natural response to the increase in inquiries from shoppers who have asked about unbranded product.
“We’ve always been very obsessed about creating the best products possible and really soon after we launched, we felt like we had a good hoodie product and we kept iterating on that,” Raf said. “Recently, we’ve been releasing a few pieces that people have been asking, ‘Is this going to be available without any print on it?’ And so we made it our goal to develop a full basics line. It’s to give people the option to wear our product every day. Some of our stuff is works better on the weekends, but we want people to have the choice of wearing something to work or on the weekdays or to an event.”
How to appeal to the older consumer, since the core Madhappy shopper is 18 to 30, is also something to be tackled with more unbranded product, Raf’s brother and celebrity stylist Noah Raf said.
Classics by Madhappy follows the recent close of the company’s series seed, marking its first outside capital raise that will be funneled into digital advertising, pop-ups and new hires for the seven-person company. Investors in the round included founders from Sweetgreen, MeUndies founder Jonathan Shokrian, Rick Caruso’s son Justin Caruso, Thor Equities ceo Joseph Sitt, Amy Levin Klein, founder of College Fashionista, and Alfred Venture Partners.
“We wanted the right strategic partners to help make this a sustainable business down the road,” Noah Raf said.
The two brothers launched Madhappy, which recently opened headquarters in downtown’s Arts District, alongside Mason Spector and Joseph’s Sitt’s son Joshua.
As Madhappy expands its assortment, it’s also refining its voice and backend operations for the market.
A fully redesigned web site launches Friday, the most notable addition being the boost in content and a blog centered around mental health awareness and providing resources — a tenet the Madhappy brand is built on. The blog content will include interviews with celebrities, influencers and individuals the company collaborates with, posting one interview per week at least initially. That will be followed up later this year with the rollout of a podcast tackling similar topics.
The pop-up strategy that was heavily focused on creating full-on events anchored around the stores helped the brand gain traction quickly, with a total of seven now under the company’s belt in places such as Los Angeles, New York City, Aspen, Williamsburg and Miami. That remains a key part of the strategy, Raf said. He added the business plans to continue doing three to four pop-ups annually, with this year focused on large-scale launch parties around a store followed by additional events around mental health-related panels. Madhappy plans to have shops open in Los Angeles and New York by midspring, with Chicago; Austin, Texas, and other cities also being eyed.
Although the focus remains on direct-to-consumer, Madhappy is talking to a few retailers about wholesale distribution, although such deals would be “more about exposure,” Noah Raf said.
The company’s showroom and headquarters in downtown will also open up midyear every Friday to the public as a community space with different types of panels, dinners and other programming.