Chris Lindland, CEO of San Francisco-based Betabrand, has built a thriving company by designing clothing around urban trends and stereotypes. For the urban bicycle commuter, there's the Bike-to-Work pants (khaki and reflective—"from the bike to the boardroom!"). The discerning foodie can make sure his eggplants don't crush his eggs by carrying the world's first farmer's market backpack. And for contrarians who like to go against the grain, there are Cordaround pants, with horizontal wales. For real misfits, the company made the Black Sheep Sweater from the wool of actual black sheep.
The company, launched in 2010, expects sales to exceed $2 million next year. The online-only retailer doesn't launch spring or fall lines; instead, it designs, manufactures, and releases new products each week. And it's built a thriving online community of fanboys and girls who like to post pictures of themselves living large in Betabrand duds.
"We run our clothing company as an Internet company, so we play by Internet rules when doing so," says Lindland. "One of the big rules of the Internet is that you have to be new all the time; there's a sense of constant reinvention. We put out products as quickly as we possibly can, as frequently as we possibly can, and we try to get people takng about them with each one we put out. It's almost like an editorial calendar that drives design."
Watch the video below to see how Lindland and his team are creating fashion that's not just something to wear, but an experience that people want to share.