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Bonobos: "a one-stop-shop for guys"


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INTERVIEW_ Curated shopping, though all the rage at the moment, is also a bit of a tricky business model as a successful expansion needs to be well planned. New York-based men's apparel brand Bonobos seems to have various aces up its sleeve in this respect. The company has been in the

news recently when securing a new round of funding with investment bank Allen & Company and for initiatives like their "Work Essentials Giveaway" at the beginning of the month, when work clothes and accessories were given away.


addition, Bonobos recently launched its women's line AYR and golf line Maide. The company has also doubled the number of its physical showrooms, called Bonobos Guideshops, bringing them up to eight locations in the US. Bonobos also partnered with upscale fashion retailer Nordstrom and department store chain Belk and is currently available in 118 Nordstrom stores and seven Belk stores. Reason enough for FashionUnited to check with the spunky men's apparel maker about the secret of Bonobos' success and future plans.

FashionUnited: Tell us a bit about how Bonobos started, its mission and what distinguishes it from the competition.
Andy Dunn: Bonobos launched in 2007 to solve two problems: men needing better fitting clothes and an easier way to shop for them. The solution was to start with pants (the hardest thing to get right in menswear) that anatomically fit a man's build and that weren't too baggy or too tight; that aligned with his silhouette in a comfortable yet flattering way. The second answer was to launch the brand online to avoid the traditional hassles of shopping by offering great customer service, free shipping and easy returns. Today Bonobos is a full category clothing brand focused on delivering great fit, excellent customer experience and a fun approach to menswear.

FashionUnited: What do you think your customers appreciate most about your products and service? And yes, we'd like to know more about the ninjas!
Andy Dunn: Customers love the variety of fits we offer in all our products - there's literarily an option for every build. From straight leg, slim straight and slim tailored pant options to standard, slim, and slim tailored shirts any guy can shop Bonobos and be able to find their perfect fit, no matter what their style preference or body type. With a range of styles, colors, patterns and categories, Bonobos is a one-stop-shop for guys looking to dress up or dress down for every occasion. Our college-educated “Ninja” customer service representatives are the best of the best in the e-commerce space as they truly put the customer's needs and wants first using their own judgement instead of scripts to solve the problem. To extend this amazing service offline, we brought our customer service into a physical location opening Bonobos Guideshops across the country to deliver personalized, one-to-one service to those wanting to experience the brand in person.


You are currently shipping your products only within North America and Australia. Any plans to change this any time soon?
Andy Dunn: At this time, Bonobos' primary focus is on building its business here in the United States first. We do hope to expand our presence internationally in the future but for now we will continue to grow domestically.

FashionUnited: What other expansion plans are on the horizon?
Andy Dunn: We will continue to roll out more Guideshops with plans to double our U.S. storefronts over the next year. We have also expanded our distribution partnering with Nordstrom, Belk and speciality stores across the country. In addition, the team at Bonobos has branched out to launch two new brands this past year and is focused on growing those brands' business: Maide, a contemporary heritage golf brand, and AYR, a women's brand that stands for All Year Round that offers edited, effortless, essentials.

FashionUnited: Last but not least, how did you pick the name Bonobos? What is it supposed to communicate?
Andy Dunn: Bonobos was named after the bonobo, a primate that shares 99.9 percent of its DNA with humans. We admire the bonobo for their peaceful, playful nature and matriarchal society. Just how the bonobo is the most evolved animal on the planet, we hope to one day be the most evolved clothing brand and shopping experience.

Photos: Bonobos' website and giveaways