Rhone is throwing its muscle behind an elevated collection of basics that ticks all the boxes for today’s man: enhanced comfort, fit, function and sustainability.
Called Everyday Essentials, the line of underwear and socks — boxer briefs, boxer trunks, undershirts and socks — will launch on Thursday.
Kyle McClure, cofounder and chief product officer of Rhone, said the brand has sold underwear and socks in the past but they were viewed more as “accessories” to the core product, which started with activewear and has since expanded into more lifestyle offerings.
In an effort to improve the product, they started to brainstorm about how it could be better. The creation of the Everyday Essentials started with an internal conversation about what constituted basics and expanded into a dialogue of what is essential to a man’s wardrobe. McClure said guys would wear Rhone’s underwear to work out in and it didn’t perform up to their expectations. So the team created a blend of pima cotton from the U.S. and Peru, and Modal, a sustainable fiber that offers resiliency, stretch, wicking properties and is soft, McClure said.
The boxer brief features a no-roll waistband and interior comfort pouch; the undershirts are either crewneck or V-neck, have no side seams or tags and tapered sleeves that don’t ride up. The socks are made with mesh knit to be breathable, offer extra padding around the toe and an interior no-slip heel grip. The boxers will retail for $32, the undershirt for $38 and the socks for $14. Each piece in the collection will be available to be purchased separately or in bundles.
“We’re elevating basics into something authentic,” he said. “If you’re going to be in this business, you need to do it right.”
He said the pandemic has caused everyone to “pause and reflect on what clothes they wear and how they wear them.” Rhone also “recalibrated” because of the “macro issues” that have changed life in the past few months. Since it started as a men’s active brand in 2014, that category is now “neck and neck” with its dressier pieces such as its popular Commuter Pant and Commuter Shirt along with polos, button-downs, twill pants and performance blazers.
McClure said the underwear and socks are just the beginning of Rhone’s journey to explore the idea of men’s essentials, and other categories will be added down the line. “There’s almost no limit to what that could be,” he said. “But the fabric, fit and finish all have to be elevated.”
Right as the lockdown was beginning in March, Rhone introduced its first women’s activewear capsule. McClure said the line sold out quickly, and as a result of that success, the brand is looking into offering essentials for women as well.
In 2017, L Catterton made a significant investment into Rhone, which is believed to have annual sales around $50 million. That followed the $6.2 million raised from a group that included former NFL Network and ESPN executive Steve Bornstein; David Stern, NBA commissioner emeritus; sports personality Ryen Russillo; Shane Battier, former NBA player, and M3 Ventures, an investment fund managed by former CAA executive Martin Dolfi.
The brand operates three stores in New York, at Brookfield Place, Hudson Yards and Times Square, as well as one in Stamford, Conn., at Chelsea Piers. Rhone is also sold in all Equinox locations, at Nordstrom, REI and JackRabbit locations, as well as Peloton Studios, and more than 350 gyms and specialty stores across the country.