About this project
*** After Kickstarter, please visit www.bluffworks.co
Or, you can send me a message on kickstarter.
My name is Stefan, and I'd like your help in starting a new line of men's pants.
But wait... how am I going to get your size? See the FAQ at the end.
How Bluff Works Was Inspired
After my son was born, I went through a major re-shuffling of my priorities. One of the things nagging at me was how much time and energy I was spending maintaining my work clothes. Never mind all the ironing, even just washing my pants after each wear felt excessive and completely out of whack with what I really cared about and wanted to be doing with my time.
When I considered all the water, energy, and detergent consumed with every wash, I felt even worse. And the times I didn't have anything to wear in the morning drove me crazy.
What I came up with was a new pair of pants inspired by the travel clothes I wore overseas. The challenge was to make them look less goofy.
My Bluffs are designed to look great in the office, but stand up to being rolled, folded, stuffed in a bag, and most importantly worn time and time again without ironing or washing in between. Because they are cool and light, they are comfortable when you're on a bike, or jammed into a hot subway train. A built-in mobility gusset accommodates a wide range of activity. They are dying to be the one pair of pants you take when you travel!
A handful of wear testers have been hammering these pants for a year - consistently wearing them 5 to 10 times or more without washing or ironing. You may not go to the same extremes we have... but there's no doubt you can benefit from a few extra days of use... far more than any of your normal khakis. My Kickstarter video is a true representation of what the pants can do.
Their Size and Makeup
The pants are made from 100% polyester - like a lot of the performance apparel designed for sports and outdoor activities. They achieve their wrinkle resistance from the way the polyester is woven, and have a stain-release treatment applied.
New Black Color
They come in the three colors you see above - plus Dark Dark Grey that was added during the project - and every waist size from 28" to 42", including the odd 29, 31, 33 sizes in-between. Inseams offered are 28", 30", 32", 34", 36", or an extra extra long unhemmed version yet to be determined. (See: http://www.facebook.com/BluffWorks for discussion of how long it should be).
Machine wash cold. Line or tumble dry. No iron needed. For best results tumble dry on warm for a few minutes. Wash them in the sink if you're on the road.
Here's a sneak peek at the inside pocketing:
How They Are Made
The fabric is manufactured in Taiwan and dyed under an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 product class II certificate, which independently validates that no harmful chemicals were used in the dying process.
The pants are designed and sewn in NYC.
How I Did It
Rather than marching off and learning to sew, I hired the right experts. So far, I've been at this project since May 2010. I started with classes at NYC's Fashion Institute of Technology for industry background and a specific focus on fashion entrepreneurship. I then spent a year searching for fabric, and the next 6+ months refining the fit and working on the commercial aspects of launching a new product and brand.
My Team Includes:
- An Apparel Consultant who has run textile departments, as well as the operational side of complete couture lines.
- Two Pattern Makers, who also work on men's pant lines for national brands.
- A Fit Model whose full-time job is to give pattern and fit feedback to many of the largest well-known brands.
- Sandstrom Partners in Portland, Oregon, who is helping me distinguish and express the identity of my brand.
- Legal and Financial Consultants providing advice particular to trademark issues and development of a startup.
- A panel of Wear Testers, including friends and some acquaintances who gave me an honest opinion. I also conducted a trial fitting on a larger sample to make sure my sizes were true to form.
- A Sound Engineer for my Kickstarter video.
Polyester offers a surprising potential for sustainability, as a result of three factors: its long life, its potential for recycling and a reduction in the amount of resources used for its care.
In terms of garment life, my pants appear to be on track, with no fading, degradation or fraying after the first year of wear.
In terms of recyclability, I am working on making use of recycled polyester in my fabric. How quickly I can achieve this depends partly on how popular the pants become. Regardless, I will accept every discarded garment for use in future recycling.
In terms of reduction in care, I wash my pants far less than a normal pair of khakis, and my guess is that others will too.
When I've reached a large enough scale, I intend to create a closed-loop recycling system that makes new garments out of old ones.
What's Included in the Rewards
I am offering pants as a reward on Kickstarter discounted from the $85 they will cost at retail. Shipping is included. If you live outside the US, please add $10 for shipping 1-2 pairs, $15 for 3 pairs.
I'll accept an exchange to get the size right and will pay for the shipping back to you.
Multiple pairs must be shipped to a single address, but can be in any combination of color and size you choose.
The Bluff Rescue Box is designed to provide long-distance help to someone you love. The box will include a special card explaining how it works. There's no reason it can't be a surprise! Just make sure you get accurate size information so your guy will likely fit into one of the two sizes. I'll still do an exchange, as needed.
Carte Bluff starts with three pairs of pants and a water bottle. After that, you'll have rights to order one item (single color/size) of everything I make for the next FIVE years. It includes shipping and exchanges, as required. Hopefully, this will be a lot of product!
Lastly, to purchase the water bottle with any other reward level, just add $20 to your pledge.
Here's a concept (unapproved mockup) of the water bottle:
Preparing for Production
Here's where I stand in terms of getting ready for production:
- Main Fabric: sitting at the factory, ready to go.
- Pattern: done and graded for all sizes.
- Zippers: I have identified the brand, but still need to choose the colors and order them.
- Pocketing: working on sourcing the pocketing material now.
- Buttons: the design is complete and a prototype is on the way.
During the Kickstarter campaign, I'll be providing detailed updates on my progress.
I've had extensive meetings with the factory in order to plan for production. They made my samples, and are familiar with the fabric and pattern, and are currently warehousing my raw materials.
Your support will fund the initial order of 500 pairs - made in NYC - and will help bring my pants and the Bluff Works brand to life!
What I'm Trying to Start
My goal is for these pants to launch an entire company dedicated to solving apparel problems.
This is why I created Bluff Works: to make a better pair of men's pants that sustain the passionate, busy, active lives that you and I lead. And, ironically to put pants back where they belong - as something we use in our lives, but aren't such a time-suck. I don't know you personally, but I suspect you have big dreams and better things to do than take care of your pants... I hope my Bluffs can help.
Lastly, here's a video from the unforgettable night I launched:
THANK YOU for your support!
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- (35 days)