Why would a guy give up an executive retail career (Lands’ End, Belk, Kohl’s) to launch a new polo shirt?
“I wanted to devote myself to something that would make my kids proud,” explains Chris Kolbe, co-founder with Christian Arkins of new eco-luxury brand HyperNatural, hitting top retailers in March. “We wanted to create something that improves upon nature with minimal harm to the planet.”
Kolbe explains it further: “After two years of R&D at the raw fiber/yarn level, we’ve taken Supima cotton — the softest in the world — and added jade stone to cool the skin, and crab shells to eliminate odor, thereby reducing washings. It’s ‘natural performance’ with no harmful chemicals, polyester, or plastics. The result is a soft, luxurious proprietary fabric that’s 95 percent biodegradable, 50 percent made from regenerative waste, and 0 percent virgin polyester or plastics.”
Comfortable, well-crafted, and finely detailed, the polos ($135 to $165 suggested retail) will launch for spring ’23 in top independent stores and at Nordstrom.
“We wanted to keep it simple,” says Kolbe. “Four styles in two knits (pique and jersey), two fits, 29 colors, and one amazing fabric.” For info, email email@example.com.
Above: After two years of R&D at the raw fiber/yarn level, check out the most comfortable, most sustainable polo yet.
The TAP Group is a new retail-centric multi-brand showroom bringing top designer brands from around the globe to the North American marketplace. Headed by Tony Lucia, Andrew Weisbrot, and Paul Buckter (acronym TAP), these three industry veterans can boast decades of wholesale and retail experience at some of the world’s leading fashion brands, including Brioni, Canali, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, Escada, Bloomingdale’s, Barneys, Boyds, and Garmany.
Weisbrot explains the concept: “Working closely with both department and specialty stores, we’re constantly looking for white space opportunities. As seasoned retailers, we work not only on selling in our products but also on helping retailers sell through to their customers. Our goal is always increased sell thrus and higher margins. We’re involved in every step of the process, from market research to sales pipeline development to client outreach to sales planning and account management.”
Launching with four fabulous brands — Windsor (a new-to-the- U.S. 120-year-old affordable luxury brand from Switzerland), Benson (casual lifestyle), Malcom (luxury trousers), and Matinique (contemporary sportswear) — TAP is hoping to tap into a new attitude in upscale menswear. “We want to put the fun back,” says Weisbrot. “To reinstate the camaraderie, the parties, the glamour, for a new generation. I’m still seeing too many depressed people since Covid, both retail sellers tired of too much sameness and buyers tired of big brands shoving stuff down their throats. That’s not what we’re about. We want to create a fun place to hang out, laugh, and have fun. We’re about beautiful product, customer relationships, and selling the dream.”