1. What inspired the brand name?
Manuel and I both grew up as science and math kids and ended up studying related fields in college. We were from the get-go taken with academic-sounding names, and when we were considering our options, "standard deviation" immediately struck us as a strong contender. Without getting too nerdy, we liked how the name implied variation from the norm or average, and how one could translate that interpretation freely to a fashion brand.
2. At what moment did you realize you wanted to start a brand?
We began our careers together in finance, but quickly realized that creating a menswear brand would be a much more interesting challenge. After college, the idea of dressing our friends became our inspiration. Striking out in New York City, they were seeking to evolve their styles beyond more traditional fashions, but couldn't readily find well-crafted casual clothing with a "fresh" look at non-designer prices. We sought to address this gap in the market by starting Standard Deviation, which would bring quality clothing via the direct-to-consumer model without the retail mark-up.
3. What helps you get over creative blocks?
We live in Bushwick, which has an abundance of fantastic street art, so we get a lot of inspiration from local artists. Bushwick Open Studios, for example, is a great annual event where we can roam around the neighborhood and check out not only local galleries and studios, but also all the art outdoors. In addition to loving its creative side, we like how the lifestyle in Brooklyn can be easygoing and fun, and I think our brand captures that as well.
4. What is the biggest mistake you have made?
Not budgeting enough time for production delays, which are unfortunately inevitable!
5. What is the biggest success you have had?
We officially launched our brand last December with a collaboration with the model and musician Ian Mellencamp.
6. Favorite color to use?
We're really proud of our grey and light indigo denim washes, as it took us a lot of work to get them perfect. We also both like variations of the color pink.
7. A source of inspiration people may find weird?
We both love horror films, even the really bad ones. We also love feminism.
8. Another Brand that inspires you and why?
Costco. We know that this is a weird choice, as it's almost an anti-brand brand, but Costco has built a hugely loyal customer base over the past three decades with excellent customer service and quality products at accessible prices. All the while, it has led the charge in terms of paying a fair living wage to its employees. We think that's really admirable. Also, who doesn't love Costco?
9. Where do you see yourself and the brand in 1 year and 5 years?
The sky is the limit! No, seriously, we'd like to really hone our digital marketing strategy this year. In five years, who knows?
10. In 5 words or less describe your brand
The New Formula For Premium Denim