The irony of Allbirds socks

Before you read, disclosure: I despise Allbirds. They are tasteless and are a perfect allegory for the technology sector’s idea of aesthetics. I can’t for the love of god figure out why folks wear these abominations, the equivalent of shapeless sweatpants in the form of shoes. So now that you know where I stand let’s talk about the Allbirds socks,

In 2014, New Zealand-based Allbirds launched a Kickstarter for its sneakers made out of wool. The called them “Wool Runners.” And their first selling point was “A World First: woolen running shoes specifically designed for sockless wear.” In other words, their main reason to exist. Ironically, the same sockless sneaker company is selling socks. What that tells me is that sneaker sales might be plateauing and the company needs to make new revenue from higher-margin products like socks.

There are better, cheaper options that Allbirds socks. Muji makes great socks for about a third of the price. I highly recommend Mujis. You want to go high end, then buy Falke. But if you are an Allbirds fan, well, I can’t save you from yourself.

Read article on TechCrunch

Wits+Beaux

Wits + Beaux is a new upstart socks brand and is based in New York. They also make bow-ties and pocket squares too. The socks costs about $20 and are a blend of cotton and polyester — not my thing — but most folks like that mix as socks shape lasts longer. The sample they … Continue reading Wits+Beaux

XOAB Socks

A few months ago Nick Wilder, a friend of mine connected me to Rich Levine, a former Sun Microsystems engineer who had decided to try his hand at new things after spending a lot of time on the internet. At Sun he did work on customer-facing software and usability work on Sun’s first Intel platform and then for early web and commerce work for sun.com and java.sun.com. Yup, like me Rick is somewhat old — and if you don’t remember, he did co-author the iconic, The Cluetrain Manifesto. 

Done with the tubes, he moved to Denver and created an organic chocolate brand, Sun Cups. However, that was not where his heart was. Instead, Rick and his brother Neil (illustrator and graphics designer) decided to start making socks. I mean, why not. Socks are something all of us need and despite all the great pairs of socks in one’s sock drawer, there is room for one more. After spending nearly 18 months leaning how to make them and how to warp the business and tech side of fashion, the Levine brothers launched their sock brand XOAB on Kickstarter. The fit, colors, and patterns proved to be a hit and well, rest is history.  XOAB, by the way is shorthand for love and beyond. 

Continue reading “XOAB Socks”