These Two Friends Who Met Playing High School Football Founded A Fashion Company That Just Raised $US15 Million

FrankandOakFrank & OakCofounders Hicham Ratnani and Evan Song

Frank & Oak, a men’s fashion ecommerce company started by two high school best friends from Montreal, just raised a $US15 million Series B led by Goodwater Capital.

You can think of Frank & Oak as a more techie second-cousin to Trunk Club: Join the site and start ordering boxes of curated clothes that you can try on before you choose to buy.

In this case, however, all the clothes are designed and made by the company and you decide what you want to order from a personalised selection (Trunk Club pairs you with a personal stylist to curate a box of name-brand pieces). Nearly one-fifth of Frank & Oak’s 1.5 million members shop the company’s monthly collections from its app.

Cofounders Hicham Ratnani and Evan Song met on their Montreal high school football team. In their teens, the duo started making money designing websites for local businesses, and their entrepreneurial streak was born. Although they drifted apart for several years — Song moved to Vancouver, where he would go to school for theatre and software engineering — they reconnected while both working for Deloitte.

“We always wanted to start something else,” Song told Business Insider. “We didn’t have that much experience with fashion. But we saw that there was an opportunity to create a new kind of retail company.”

Frank & Oak targets creative types who are a little bit trend-focused, but not fashion experts. Launched in 2012, the company now releases one 75-piece collection a month, and plans to expand to other product categories besides clothes.

“We’re trying to reinvent business casual,” Song says.

Here’s a snapshot from the company’s website:

With the announcement of the new capital, Frank & Oak will be opening up a new office in New York City.

“About 70% of our sales come from the U.S.,” Song says. “New York makes so much sense for us.”

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