MEET THE MAKER: PAIR OF THIEVES’ SNEAKY PERFORMANCE
Men’s and boy’s basics brand Pair of Thieves, co-founded by Cash Warren, Alan Stuart and David Ehrenberg, was built on a foundation of sneaky performance, a brand-coined expression meaning “amazing breathability, moisture wicking, performance cotton blend, and über comfy fit hidden under a great design.” And at an average price point of $5.99 a pair, these socks are priced to sell.
MR recently had the chance to speak with Warren (who is married to actress Jessica Alba) about how the brand got started, the ups and downs of owning a start-up company, and where he envisions the brand to be in five years.
Q: What is the foundation of the brand and how did you get started?
A: I grew up with Alan, who actually went to college with David, and we formed this bond on how can we hone in on men’s basics and bring newness to the category. This led to us developing our foundation into being an intersection of both performance and design.
Q: Where can we find your products?
A: You can find our socks on end caps in the men’s and boy’s departments at all Target stores, Target.com and our own e-commerce site. When we approached Target with our line they were totally onboard and jumped on it right away.
Q: Who is your core customer?
A: We are going after a millennial dad or young business professional. He is a guy that expects more out of clothes than one single function. He needs basics that will take him from a business meeting to chasing his kids around. That’s what we are all about, making our products function as a performance sock but also be fashionable.
Q: Describe what makes your socks sneaky?
A: Athleisure, I guess, is the regularly used term for sneaky performance. We built our socks on the foundation of a performance sock. With features like a mesh upper, cushion heel, arch support, then we layer the design on top. That’s why it’s sneaky. We hide performance in the design.
Q: What’s the best and worst thing about being a start-up?
A: I’d definitely say that the best thing was that the brand is our oyster. You don’t know what you don’t know, so you’re not scared to try things and jump in head first. It’s also really exciting seeing your idea come to fruition: really exciting and rewarding. The worst thing would be that you wear so many hats with a lot of roles and responsibilities. You have limited resources and infrastructure, which forces you to prioritize. If you have five great ideas, you have to pick and choose which becomes a challenge for me.
Q: What is Pair of Thieves doing in terms of marketing and social media?
A: We always think about our social voice and how we can leverage these platforms to build the brand. We always want to capture the fun and creative aspects of the brand. We also aim to infuse post s with humor to make them stand out from the pack. Individually, I’ve been in the digital space for a long time and know a lot of influential people in the digital arena. I like to collaborate with them to get our message voice out there to our potential customers.
Q: Where do you see the brand five years from now?
A: We’d love to expand our line throughout the men’s basic categories. We just recently launched boxer briefs with two different kinds that are also available at Target. And we want to create new silhouettes and undershirts as well. Our mission is to bring quality products that guys would want to add to their wardrobe, and I believe we are definitely delivering.
Q: Do you have any advice for anyone who is thinking of launching a brand?
A: Your idea isn’t worth anything; it’s all about execution in your plan to bring that idea into fruition. You have to get from point A to point B. You also must have a smart team with you that will help where you have weaknesses.