Jaime Barker, Megan BolchFlagpole presentation, Spring Summer 2017, New York Fashion Week, USA - 14 Sep 2016

Megan Balch and Jaime Barker, who cofounded Flagpole in 2013, are known for their sporty, brightly colored women’s swimwear sold at retailers including Shopbop and Barneys New York, but they always had the men’s category in mind.

“Flagpole is the name of the beach we grew up on,” said Balch. “But before we even had sketches or drawings, we always knew we wanted to have a unisex name to accommodate for men’s.”

According to Balch, they’ve spent two years working on the men’s collection, which includes two silhouettes: the Luke short, a hybrid swim and travel short; and the Dave trunk, a classic swimsuit. The Luke short is made from a quick-drying fabric with pockets and an interior adjustable drawstring. They retail for $225. The Dave trunk has a slim fit and is also made from a quick-drying fabric but has an elastic waistband. It retails for $185.

“Since our launch, a lot of men have reached out saying that they resonate with our clean, modern and functional aesthetic,” said Balch. “What they wanted boiled down to two things: a classic cut and ultimate comfort.”

They are opting for a direct-to-consumer distribution with men’s in order to get feedback from consumers.

“It’s hard to get that direct feedback with customers through wholesale partnerships. But on our e-commerce site, customers are more open to tell us what they like and don’t like, which is incredibly helpful in designing new and better product,” said Balch.

The men’s collection is available now.