Chubbies is one of the hottest start-ups in apparel.
Since being founded as a “Made in America” shorts brand for in 2011, the company has grown to include tops, swimwear, and women’s’ clothing. The brand has famously vowed never to make pants and called out Abercrombie & Fitch for selling cargo shorts.
Now, Chubbies could be up for a free spot in the Super Bowl.
The brand is one of 10 finalists for an Intuit QuickBooks contest for a free ad. The company will the most online votes will win the ad.
Super Bowl ad prices have soared to $US5 million for just 30 seconds.
The exposure could take Chubbies to the next level.
“We started this company as four friends looking to create a brand based on the best American-made apparel and content for your weekend,” co-founder Tom Montgomery, one of the Stanford grads who started the company, told Business Insider in an interview. “This would be the ultimate platform for us to get that message out to 100 million people.”
Chubbies’ founders started the brand with the vision of creating an e-commerce company that provides weekend wear for men.
Men had been wearing baggy cargo shorts for years. Chubbies took a different approach, selling tailored five-and-half inch short shorts.
“Cargo shorts had been popular for years, but they’re so baggy and ugly,” Montgomery said. “Men wanted more tailored clothes, so why not shorts?”
The concept exploded. Chubbies has sold as many as 16,000 pairs of shorts in one day and has received $US4.1 million in venture funding. Revenue increased by 50% in 2015.
The brand’s stereotypical customer is the “bro” — a college-aged or 20-something male who is typically in a fraternity and parties often.
Montgomery says the brand is branching out from that image.
“We want to sell the clothes for what you’re doing what you want and what you like,” Montgomery said. “Pretense and stuffiness are out the window.”
The casual vibe also extends to the button-down shirts, which are made without a top button.
Since Chubbies became popular, companies like J. Crew, Abercrombie, and Bonobos have designed their own short shorts.
The fashion world is also endorsing the concept.
“The rise of shorter shorts is something a lot of men will benefit from,” Business Insider’s Dennis Green wrote earlier this year. “It’s firmly rooted in the prevailing trends of retro sport-inspired fashion and men being braver about showing a little bit of skin.”
Meanwhile, cargo shorts were listed as an item men should take out of their closets and burn.
Chubbies credits much of its success to its humorous approach to social media.
While traditional apparel companies are formal on Facebook, Chubbies — which boasts the logo “sky’s out, thighs out!” — uses a more relaxed approach in its social ads.
“Little kids and old men are the only trendsetters,” reads one post. Other ads show young, attractive people partying on a yacht wearing Chubbies.
Despite its relatively small size, the brand has more than 1.7 million followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Its Facebook presence is nearly on-par with J. Crew.
Montgomery says the Super Bowl ad would be in keeping with the brand’s classic sense of humour.
“A Chubbies-made Super Bowl commercial is something the world needs to see,” he said.
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