Venture capitalists are better known for sporting Oxford button-downs than for wearing T-shirts, but today, they are going casual.
Pickwick & Weller is an e-commerce startup that designs, manufactures, and sells “the perfect T-shirt.” Today, the company launched its Spring 2013 line and revealed a high-profile list of investors, including Forerunner Ventures, Felicis Ventures, SV Angel, Baseline Ventures, and Mousse Partners.
Ashton Kutcher is one of the founders of Pickwick & Weller, along with serial entrepreneurs Ryan Donahue — a founding member of the PayPal design and user research — and Matt Rowe [above]. The trio has spent many years in the tech and fashion communities, and they wanted to create a brand that appealed to people looking for casual clothing for the workplace.
“The workplace has changed,” Donahue said in an email. “It’s become more creative and more casual, and the T-shirt is the work uniform of choice for entrepreneurs, hackers, makers, and artists.”
Pickwick & Weller works with a range of high quality materials such as supima, modal cotton, cashmere, silk and linen. Donahue said with T-shirts, the fit is just as important as the fabric, and since the company has adopted an entirely online business model, it can offer high-end products at a lower price point.
Vertically integrated, online-only clothing companies are taking center stage of the fashion world. Not only are consumers shopping online more frequently, but entrepreneurs, fashion designers, and brands are eschewing traditional retail channels for those that provide greater flexibility. Pair that with the fact that in the tech world “the T-shirt is king,” and the interest towards Made-in-America products, and you have a startup sitting at the center of multiple cultural, fashion, and Internet trends.
Pickwick & Weller’s design headquarters is in Los Angeles, with the business headquarters in San Francisco. There are currently nine employees. In addition to the insutuiotnal investors listed above, Ashton Kutcher, Warby Parker founder Dave Gilboa, and Max and Nellie Levchin also participated in this round.
Photo credit: Pickwick & Weller