SUPER BOWL WEEK: Mizzen + Main, the Sweat Resistant TopFriday, February 17, 2017
As you know, from my Instagram, the Super Bowl was in town! Ha! I attended a lot of events during Super Bowl week (the week leading up to the big game). I already blogged about my first 2 events here and here. Most of my events happened on Thursday and Friday. I actually took 2 vacation days to attend all of these events. The second stop on my whirlwind Thursday was Press Day for Mizzen + Main. Personally, I had never heard of Mizzen + Main until they reached out to me to swing by! I really loved their brand concept (sweat-resistant? sign me up) and I love checking out "new to me" businesses.
Mizzen + Main is a brand based out of Dallas, Texas. They decided to participate in all of the Super Bowl 51 activities by driving to Houston and creating a pop-up shop at Green Street downtown. A lot of their clientele are athletes and Houston's weather has the ideal conditions for a sweat resistant shirt. Their brand ambassador is also none other than Houston Texans' Defensive End, JJ Watt. All the stars seemed to align for Mizzen + Main to come to Houston for the Super Bowl.
I headed to their pop-up shop location after the New Era Cap event. I love Green Street. It's a very nice plaza area in the middle of the city with restaurants, clubs, and shopping areas. Mizzen + Main was located in a prime spot right across from the outdoor entertainment stage. I found it right away because they had a picture of JJ Watt on a sign outside the door. I loved the ambience of their pop-up shop. You can tell that they really cared about their brand. They transformed their pop-up space so nicely that you would have thought they were a permanent brick & mortar.
Several sections were set up in the pop-up shop. There was an area for year round styles, and then a section for their newest Spring Styles launching that day. Some were early exclusives that weren't available online yet. I was able to talk to one of the Brand reps, and the Founder Kevin Lavelle to get the 411 on the brand.
Mizzen + Main is a performance wear fabric brand. All of their fabrics are moisture wicking, machine washable, 4-way stretch. They are all sweat resistance, wrinkle resistance and stain resistance. All of their clothing is super comfortable, low maintenance, easy to travel with, and easy to move in. They boast two separate fabric styles in their shirts:
|Classic fabric - super light-weight|
|Super Stretch fabric has lycra added to it.|
|Classic shirt option with a convertible cuff. The cuff makes the shirt more formal. A lot of men ask for it for their groomsmen.|
CHATTING WITH FOUNDER, KEVIN LAVELLE:
Can you give us a little history about the brand and how you came up with the concept for the shirts?
I started the company about 4 and a half years ago; after a year of product development. It was about 12 years ago that I was working as a Staffer in D.C. and watched a guy run into the building soaked in sweat. I wondered why we weren't making dress shirts out of the same material that took over the golf world? Performance polos were just starting to become acceptable and mainstream in the golf world. Guys wear dress shirts even more than golf shirts so if that transition happened from being unacceptable to wear a performance polo to becoming mainstream, why not make a dress shirt out of the same material?
Did you know anything about fashion design and fabrics before you started this venture?
No way, shape or form. I was a management consultant and an investment analyst and decided to give this a shot. But I think since I didn't know anything about fashion, I was able to just ask all the wrong questions and knock down doors that wouldn't have been knocked down otherwise. I think that's why so many people use synthetics in traditional menswear [instead of researching other fabric options]. I spent about a year in product development. We launched in July of 2012. I played around with fabrics for awhile. I learned all about tech packs and patterns and all the things it takes to make a dress shirt. It's a lot harder to make one shirt than it is to make 5,000. That first one, where you are trying to figure out everything...there is a lot on the radar just to get it off the ground.
How has your company grown since your launch in 2012?
We did dress shirts for about a year and half and then we introduced Henleys which are more of a casual option. We introduced pants about a year ago and the response has been overwhelming. We are majority online at mizzenandmain.com. We are in about 300 retail locations around the country. In Houston, we just launched with Nordstrom in the Galleria. We're also at Norton Ditto and a couple of country clubs around Houston as well.
Why did you decide to come to Houston for the Super Bowl to do a pop-up?
We did a pop-up shop at the Super Bowl in San Francisco last year, and that went extraordinarily well. It's great to be around the game and we have so many athletes that wear the brand. Houston is right down the road from us in Dallas. It was the easiest pop-up that we've done because we just drove down here. Also, having JJ Watt here in Houston as the face of the brand. We couldn't think of a better brand ambassador.
Any plans to introduce a women's line?
A women's line is something that we are considering. We are focusing right now on really, truly perfecting one avenue of the business, and making sure that the product is right for the men and then go from there.
Is there a Brick & Mortar in your future?
We continue to find great ways to get [our brand] out there. I think it might be a little ways before we have our own store permanently anywhere. We'll continue to try pop-ups. It's a way for us to get in front of people and show people our brand in person. We are in great retail locations but it's a little bit of them and a little bit of us, but with the pop up it's our design and our brand.
SHOP MIZZEN + MAIN