Untuckit Taps David Hart for Capsule as Business Exceeds $200M Milestone
Untuckit started its business in 2011 with a simple idea: button-down shirts designed for men to wear untucked. Fast forward to today, and the company founded by Chris Riccobono and chief executive officer Aaron Sanandres has reached sales of more than $200 million, with 84 stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., and a robust e-commerce presence.
The brand has also expanded beyond those first button-down shirts into polos, T-shirts, Henleys, pants, sweaters, jackets and sport coats for men, as well as shirts, dresses and blazers for women.
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And now, Untuckit is partnering with an independent designer for the first time — David Hart. Although best known for his tailored clothing, Hart’s collection for Untuckit, which launches on May 4, will have a more casual bent.
“Untuckit has been a staple in menswear for more than 11 years, and we thought it would be exciting to see David’s interpretation of the brand through his fashion-forward lens,” Riccobono said. “We’re thrilled with David’s use of prints, tailoring and fabric knowledge to bring his fresh take on Untuckit to life. This capsule feels fresh, yet still relatable to our customers, and we can’t wait to debut this newest collaboration.”
The collection, which will retail for $88 to $148, includes two linen shirts — one traditional short sleeve and one with a camp collar — one lightweight novelty sweater, two cable knit polos, and two pairs of drawstring shorts.
Hart said the collection was inspired by “a recent trip I took to Montauk, the coastal end of New York’s Long Island. I grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, but have family on Long Island. The water and coastal energy has always influenced my design process and the iconography of life on the water has always been a key element in my life. I was interested in nautical themes for this collection including sharks, lobsters and rustic hand feels for textiles. I created prints in hand-painted watercolors for a weather-worn look. The sharks are my favorite, and they were fun to paint. I rounded out the collection with washed cotton broadcloth and 2/30s merino. These will be summer staples that can easily be implemented into an existing wardrobe.”
Riccobono said the capsule offers “a different vibe than the typical Untuckit offering,” but customers have shown they’re willing to take risks. “We have a shirt with a bold vertical stripe that’s really doing well,” he said, “and our prints are popular too.”
Partnering with Hart allows the brand to further push the envelope. “We’ve mastered d-to-c, e-commerce and stores and we’re always looking for unique and different ways to grow,” Riccobono said. If successful, Riccobono said he’s open to having Hart continue to design collections for the company. “This is a good test to see where we can go.”
Although Hart may not be a household name outside the men’s fashion world, the Untuckit marketing team will introduce him and his story through emails and on the website, Riccobono said, adding that customers are always eager to learn and discover something new.
That’s been one of the drivers of Untuckit’s business. Although the company did have a tough time during the height of the pandemic, business has rebounded dramatically of late.
“It’s unbelievable,” Riccobono said. “We just had our best year from a revenue perspective and posted a significant profit for the first time. I know a lot of categories like athleisure have slowed down, but casual button-down shirts are doing great.”
And he’s expecting the momentum to continue. “The blueprint we have has played out,” he said. “We’re going to open a bunch of stores and we’re cutting our marketing significantly and we will still grow our profitability this year.”
He said Untuckit plans on adding 10 stores over the next six months in the U.S. and also will expand its international reach, although Riccobono said he’s not prepared to discuss the plan for overseas right now.
But on the brick-and-mortar front, he’s high on the concept of physical retail. “We continue to love stores,” he said. “Almost every store is profitable and it’s the best way to bring in a long-term customer.”
Depsite Untuck’s success, there are no immediate plans to sell the business or go public, Riccobono said, and the team remains focused on expanding upon what has been working for the past 12 years and exploring other avenues for growth including wholesale and licensing.
“Our business is now north of $200 million and that’s without wholesale, licensing or franchising,” he said. “Our women’s business has also grown significantly in the last five months so we’re seeing such success, but there continue to be tons of growth opportunities.”
Both Riccobono and Sanandres also started businesses unrelated to Untuckit in the past few years, and those continue to churn along, he said.
Riccobono’s side project is Greatness Wins, an athletic brand he created with Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, as well as former hockey star Wayne Gretzky and ballerina Misty Copeland, while Sanandres’s is the sustainable brand Definite Articles.
“It’s going really good,” Riccobono said of Greatness Wins. “We exceeded our growth plans by a lot last year and our repeat rates are super high.” Going forward, the plan is to amp up the marketing for the label and take advantage of his high-profile partners as he works to carve out a niche in the sports apparel arena.
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