Our shirt isn't good enough.

We wrote and drew this 4-minute short story to tell you why.

It all started with this Gant banded collar shirt.

Alan, one of our co-founders, loved wearing this shirt because:

1. it was formal enough for an investor meeting, and casual enough for a date afterward

2. the thin, banded collar was a signal — I don't wear a traditional business collar, because I don't do traditional business work

3. the fabric wasn't a dressy poplin, it was a casual and comfy tech chambray blend

Alan wore this chambray banded collar shirt everywhere.

And everybody loved it.

Everywhere he went, people kept asking him where he got this shirt.

So he gets an idea — what if he made some?

He asks me (Eric Wu) and my partner (Tammy Chow) if we want to help him make more of these sell it.

It was immediately really hard.

We had a bunch of questions to answer.

How should this shirt fit?

What should the fabric be?

How much pit sweat accumulates on the average person?

We wanted to make the best shirt possible.

And the best way to do that was:

1) find out problems people have with shirts

2) and then solve them

So, like any other twentysomething who's worked in tech, we decided to ask potential users for help.

We did focus groups with a few of our friends, and as that happened, Tammy got really weirded out.

To give you some context, Tammy is the Head of Design — she went to fashion school at Parsons and designed clothing at J. Crew and a bunch of other clothing brands.

"Why are you asking these people for their opinions? The designer is supposed to just...know."

"But if we're trying to make the best shirt possible, shouldn't we ask potential customers about what they like and don't like?"

".............holy shit."

That's when we realized that the entire clothing industry was broken.

Because fashion works as a top-down system focused on trends and a breadth of offerings...

...it forgets to talk to the end user, and it focuses on designing for the current trends, rather than figuring out how to make high-quality, well-designed clothing.

That's why your shirts have only marginally improved over the last 50 years.

Since our goal is to make the best shirts possible, we have to do things different from the apparel industry — we're going with bottom-up design.

Because if you want people to like a shirt, it makes sense to ask them.

We're borrowing a few principles from the tech world, where the process is to make a Minimum Viable Product, ask for feedback from users, iterate, and repeat as quickly as possible.

We're working on one product at a time, we're releasing a first batch in extremely limited quantities to alpha testers, survey their problems with this batch, then incorporate their feedback into a second batch as quickly as possible. Repeat ad nauseum.

We think this is the best way to design the best shirt possible for you.

If you're reading this, you probably received a personal invitation from one of us to become one of 20 alpha tester of our first batch. Your feedback will determine the design of our shirt.

Some perks for joining as an alpha tester:

1) our first batch is heavily discounted because you know, it's not as good as it will be

2) you'll receive lifetime discounts on all of our products in perpetuity

3) you'll be invited as a VIP guest to our launch party

We invited you because we think you're good at giving detailed feedback on our shirts, you have good taste, and most of all, because you seem like you'd be into this kind of project.

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