True Classic to Expand Internationally

·2 min read

Ryan Bartlett didn’t have a fashion background but he knew what he didn’t like when it came to a menswear staple: the T-shirt. “The cheap ones fell apart and the good ones cost $50 or more,” he said. He thought he could better.

So he teamed up with Nick Ventura, who had cofounded the men’s basics brand Venley, and Matthew Winnick, who had a financial background, to create True Classic.

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They started out with one T-shirt in a variety of colors and offered it directly to consumers on their website. They didn’t think much of it initially — “It was a side project,” said Bartlett, whose background is in digital marketing. But to their surprise, the product started gaining traction and in its first month True Classic sold $20,000 worth of Ts, a number that ballooned to $200,000 within five months, Bartlett said.

The buisness has expanded beyond tees to other menswear staples.
The buisness has expanded beyond tees to other menswear staples.

They have since expanded into polos, henleys, joggers, shorts, hoodies, sweatpants and other menswear basics, all with the same ethos: comfortable product at a reasonable price. A six-pack of T-shirts retails for $89.99, a fleece jacket and jogger is $49.99, and a polo is $25.99. Denim and activewear will be launching shortly, Bartlett said. The brand offers a range of sizes, from small to XXL.

The customer response was swift and True Classic is projecting sales will hit $250 million this year.

Now True Classic is making the move outside the U.S. border. It has partnered with Global-e, a company that helps businesses expand internationally, to launch this week in the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Bartlett said the plan is to start with English-speaking countries before expanding to other regions. “We want to test this on a smaller scale to see what works and what doesn’t,” he said.

Down the road, Bartlett said True Classic is exploring opening a retail store in its hometown of Los Angeles with a partner so “customers can get their hands on the product.”

The company is based in Los Angeles.
The company is based in Los Angeles.

The company has a strong philanthropic bent. It works with local homeless organizations in L.A. and donates more than 20,000 pieces every month to various charities.

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