Tuesday, July 16, 2013

LINEDWEAR: The Future of DC Socks and Sportswear?

(Creative and colorful sock designs have become popular in the DC area thanks to RGIII. Photos via GQ)
























Socks have played an important role in Redskins culture over the last ten years. The late Sean Taylor started to wear a multi-striped long sock during his time in DC. It impressed a few of his teammates enough that they also started to wear the odd looking socks until the NFL decided enough was enough and started to fine the players for violating the uniform code.

Today we have franchise quarterback Robert Griffin the third, who likes to show his personality with unique and creative sock designs. From wearing his Superman sock while winning the Heisman trophy, to wearing his self designed burgundy and gold "Go Catch Your Dream" socks at the NFL draft. RGIII knows that he can be a popular and talented role model yet still have a fun side or share an inspiring message to his fans.

Some people seem to have a passion for socks. If you're at FedEx Field for a tailgate prior to a game, you're bound to encounter many Redskin fans wearing versions of RGIII's socks or some unique design of their own to root for the home team. It was this passion for not only the Redskins but DC sports in general and the DC area that inspired Will Simon to create his first line of socks under his brand LINEDWEAR.
(Here's one unique way of saying Hail to the Redskins)

 (G-Town)
Will moved to the DC area four years ago and fell in love with its variety of people, culture, sights and local sports teams. He wanted to have people be able to represent the DC area all the time during various activities and what a better way to do that than having people wear his design. Inspired by DC's iconic skyline consisting of the Washington Monument, the Capitol and both Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. For his inaugural collection, he decided to highlight his design with the team colors of local DC area teams like the Redskins, Hoyas, Nationals and Caps. To show that DC is not just a beautiful city, but a city with pride.

But Will knew a design wasn't just enough. He needed to find a sock that was worthy of being called LINEDWEAR. He wanted to create a sock for a person who was not just going to a game, but somebody who might be jogging, working out or even going out for a night on the town who wanted to show a little hometown pride.

Using his own money (even tapping into his 401K to provide investment funds), Will found a manufacture that was able to make a sock to his expectations. They had experience making high quality socks of other companies such as J Crew and  the Northface. Simon was able to make a sock with a similar material blend to that of Nike's Dri-Fit that has re-enforced heels and toes, good arch support and were specifically crafted for the right and left feet. He then was able to get a pallet of colors that perfectly matched the teams he was representing on the socks.

Creating a small business isn't easy and although his inaugural line is set to debut in August, Will has started a Kickstarter campaign to help develop and start up his second line which will include other color combinations (including a University of Maryland version) and possibly knee high socks. Will hopes that he can eventually expand his line to support various charities including breast cancer awareness and a camouflage sock to support the Wounded Warriors Project.

So do you like the socks? Would you like to get a pair or like to help see the second line come to fruition? Here's how you can help. Go to the LINEDWARE  Kickstarter page and donate. A donation of just $15 gets you a pair of socks from the inaugural line and Will told me that when future DC colors or styles come out, those who donated $15 will get a free pair of those socks as well.

So what's the future of LINEDWARE? Well, the sky could be the limit for Will Simon. If the line is successful Will may expand from beyond the DC market to other cities. Or he could go beyond socks and maybe other types of LINEDWEAR brand clothing. Could LINEDWEAR be like another local clothing company that expanded worldwide like Under Armour?

But right now Will's goal is to share his love of DC with other people and provide a fun but wearable clothing option to the citizens of the nation's capital.

Interested in helping a local business get to the next level? You can donate to LINEDWEAR's Kickstarter and get some cool merchandise in return. Go to www.kickstarter.com/projects/1462347158/linedwear-city-pride-with-style-0 to make a donation.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems that Will Simon and Linedwear have completely ripped off another company, Strideline:
http://www.strideline.com/

The Linedwear design seems to be nearly identical to the designs Strideline have made for other cities. The socks appear to be identical to the Strideline sock in nearly every manner from the location of the logo, the strapped writing of the brand name across the heel and even the small L near the toe.

I am no expert on design rights, but what Linedwear is doing seems to be counterfeit and possibly illegal. I am a DC native and huge sports fan, but the moral side of me thinks it is shady to completely rip off another company's design. I however do love the idea of city skyline socks and would love to see some DC ones made by Strideline or a more ethical company.

Mr. Simon, this would be an excellent idea if you actually came up with it on your own.

FedEx Al said...

I'm not Mr. Simon, I just saw the design and his kickstarter project and thought I would help out a creator with a cool idea.

The Burgundy and Gold socks just look awesome.

I went to the Strideline site and you seriously do have a point. A point which I will mention to Mr. Simon and give him a chance to reply here in the comments.

That said they do not have a DC logo/sock. Hopefully Mr. Simon will reply to your comments.
Thanks for reading and thanks for replying.

Will Simon said...

Hello and thanks for your concern. The strideline brand just recently came to my attention. Until recently, I had no idea that they existed.

That being said, I had the idea to create a DC skyline sock with no knowledge of strideline, and posted my idea on tradekey.com in order to get bids from manufacturers. One of the manufacturers got back to me very quickly and sent me a mock up and sample with my design on it. After speaking with them last night, they are one of strideline's manufacturers. Since i had never seen a strideline sock, when I received the sample, I immediately agreed to getting it made. Please note that i only sent them the skyline design, not the stripes, toe, heel, etc.

Obviously, manufacturers in places like China aren't concerned with copying a design, which is why I think they didn't tell me.

The good part is that I only ordered 1600 pairs of this style. I've already finalized a completely unique design for the next order. The DC skyline sock was my idea and I'm not going to stop because there's another company that makes skyline socks, just like Nike isn't going to stop making shoes because so does Adidas.

Again, I appreciate your concern and for bringing this to my attention. Hopefully when I receive the updated style you'll feel a little more at ease.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Hi I am the same person who posted the first comment.

FedEx Al, thanks for the reply and bringing this up to Will. I also agree that the Burgundy and Gold design is cool.

Will, thanks for the reply. I completely believe you and I am glad you took the time to reply to my concern. It seems that this was much more the manufacturer's fault and that you had no intention of copying Strideline's design. I love the idea of a DC sock and am looking forward to supporting you in the future! All competition is fair game and I wouldn't expect you to stop just because another company had the skyline idea first. Once you have the new design, expect me to be a full Linedwear supporter. I will support a DC start-up before another company! Great idea Will and thanks again for the explanation! Expect a small donation from me on your Kickstarter :)

Anonymous said...

This is a blatant knock off. Strideline socks are carried in nationally in Zumiez, Nordstrom, Champs, LIDS, and I'm sure a bunch of others. You are telling me you never heard of it and just coincidentally came across the pretty abstract idea of putting skylines on socks?

You're telling me the mill owner in China came up with name "Lined Wear" for you as well? Quite the coincidence. "Strideline" and "Lined Wear" hmmmm. You also decided to start a company, go through all the trouble of setting up a kickstarter, and never once typed into Google skyline socks or socks with skylines?

Louis Vuong said...

Hey do you have anymore of these socks for sale? I'd love to get the redskins color way!

FedEx Al said...

You can still get them at linedwear.com I bought 5 pairs myself.

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