When it comes to men’s fashion, the less the better.
That’s the philosophy of University of Florida graduates Ryan McCabe, Oren Kantor and Adam Fischer, who have created a business selling T-shirts with large arm holes in them, similar to the cut-off shirts some men wear to the gym.
Kantor and Fischer came up with the idea about two years ago while attending UF as undergraduates in international business. McCabe later joined the team after meeting Kantor in their Masters entrepreneurial program.
“A lot of guys at the gym were cutting down their shirts,” says Ryan McCabe, marketing director of RipTees LLC. The cut-off was a style thing that provided added flexibility, but McCabe says the ragged-cut shirts “looked ridiculous.” So he and his partners decided to develop a solution. They created a template for their design, and started buying T-shirts. “It was all trial and error,” McCabe says.
Once they had their idea in hand, they contracted with a seamstress in Miami who
helped them refine the process. Now the company manufactures the shirts in South Carolina and does final sewing and screen-printing in Miami, where Fischer currently lives.
The partners sell the shirts primarily to college students through their website, www.RipTees.com. They do not have a physical store, but they do attend trade shows to show off their product. To expand their market, they plan to develop shirts in different school colors and promote the shirts to all the universities in Florida. The company will have a big marketing push on game days.
“Our goal is seeing demand and then producing it,” McCabe says.
For now RipTees will concentrate on its gym line, but in the future the partners plan to have an additional line of shirts for beachwear.