COURTESY STANTT
COURTESY STANTT

 

CHRIS BIEN/THE HOYA
CHRIS BIEN/THE HOYA

Online shopping is usually risky, with an endless cycle of shipping fees and returns. Kirk Keel (MSB ’08) and Matt Hornbuckle hope to solve that problem with Stantt, a new menswear start-up.
The company sells polo shirts and button-downs in 50 sizes, using a computer algorithm that analyzes the customer’s waist, chest and arm measurements to determine the best fit.

To develop these specific sizes, Keel and Hornbuckle partnered with a university to take billions of data points from 3-D body scans. They declined to give the university’s name because of potential competitors.

Keel and Hornbuckle, who met while working as marketers at Johnson & Johnson, had little knowledge of menswear or the apparel industry before developing the idea for Stantt in 2011. Stantt, whose name comes from the last five letters of “constant” and the final t in “improvement,” is supposed to signify constant advance in how menswear is worn and purchased. They described themselves as “lanky” guys who had trouble finding clothes that fit.

“Having no apparel experience has helped us greatly because we had no preconceived notions of the how the industry was,” Hornbuckle said. “We walked in and said ‘This is how we want a clothing company to work.’”

After two years spent developing their concept and methodology, Keel and Hornbuckle pitched their idea on Kickstarter August 11.

“You don’t know if you have something until you pitch it to the world,” Keel said.

“Stantt is unique because it runs counter to how the clothing industry works today,” Hornbuckle added. The pair set their initial goal at $60,000 dollars. In the first week, they generated more than $30,000 from contributors around the world. As of press time, the start-up had garnered $44,795 from 372 backers. All donations serve as pre-orders for clothing, with a $68 contribution worth one polo shirt and a $98 pledge guaranteeing one button-down.

Button-downs are currently available for pre-order through Kickstarter in light blue, white and a navy gingham pattern. Polo shirts are available in navy blue and white.

If the Kickstarter exceeds its $60,000 goal, Keel and Hornbuckle pledged to release additional colors: a grey button-down at the $100,000 mark, a black polo shirt at $150,000, a pink button-down at $200,000 and a black button-down at $300,000.

Keel likened the difference in Stantt clothing to the confidence felt when wearing a suit.

“Why can’t everything in our closet have that same feeling?” Keel asked. Courtney Stecker (GRD ’14), who is 6 ft., 6 in. tall, voiced interest in Stantt.

“I fit into that category where nothing fits me,” Stecker said. “If it was cost-efficient without an insanely high mark-up, I’d buy clothes from them.”

With a little less than two weeks left on their Kickstarter and about $15,000 dollars to go, Keel and Hornbuckle already have their eyes set on the future.

“We would love to go beyond menswear, but it’s essential to have focus in the beginning,” Keel added.

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