It’s a brand new year, so we all deserve to kick it off in some brand new clothes, right?
The problem is your boyfriend didn’t get you that sweater you wanted and your Mom somehow thought that acid wash jeans make a good gift. With the hectic holiday season at a close, it’s safe to say the last thing on your mind is setting foot in a mall, and let’s be honest, online shopping always just turns into paying shipping on pants that won’t fit.
Well what if I told you that you could have some fresh new clothes delivered right to your front door, for free? Try them on, buy what you want by simply keeping it and just send back what you don’t, no charge. All you’ll need to participate is Wi-Fi and a mirror. It almost sounds too good to be true, but it’s real and it’s called Frank & Oak.
Born out of Montreal, Frank & Oak is a menswear brand that designs, manufactures and sells its own premium apparel through a hassle-free online shopping experience—for the Twitter generation. As men, we want stylish clothing that comes simple, fast and affordable, and, like a good friend, Frank & Oak has your back. While it’s all too common to throw around the word “affordable” nowadays, Frank & Oak can say it and actually mean it. The clothes, which can be described as Club Monaco meets Ralph Lauren, with a touch of Top Man, all fit somewhere in the $30 to $60 range.
CEO and co-founder Ethan Song (pictured above) says his company uses the internet to enhance the products, not just sell them. “We’re part of a new generation of brands that are thought of as a community,” says Song. “Our products are designed with the feedback of our customers; therefore, the products are more relevant. It allows us to create a much more integrated experience.”
To be a part of said community, sign up for a free membership into what they call the Hunt Club. When the site updates its look book at the beginning of each month, select a few items to try on at home before you buy. “We do all the work for you,” says Song, “[With our look books] it’s easy to understand what the cool pieces are for the season. We allow you to actually order the products and try them on for 10 days. Wear them, get feedback from your friends, and then decide whether you like them enough to keep them or not.”
Since its launch only two years ago, Frank & Oak just hit one million members and recently received the Innovator of the Year title at the 2013 PwC Vision to Reality Awards. As Song garners more and more attention for truly making his vision a reality, he’s become an inspiration, and is happy to share some advice. “What I always say to aspiring entrepreneurs is: ‘Just do it.’ People always ask, ‘How did you go about creating a clothing line and meeting manufacturers?’ Well, I just did it. I called them up and I went to meet them. There’s no magic. You have to work hard and commit to what you want and then you’ll be successful at it.”
If, after reading this, you feel the need to run into the streets screaming Frank & Oak’s praises, do so on the way to their pop-up shop located at 737 Queen St W. It’s open until January 12, and offers a wide variety of seasonal essentials. And since fashion is all about looking forward, Song shares an interesting prediction for the warmer months ahead: “The big trend that I think a lot of guys might be afraid of, but I think they should try, is the concept of sweaters in spring and summer. In Europe, guys already wear linen sweaters in the summer. It’s very sporty and easy to layer when the weather is cool enough.”