May 2nd, 2013
TEAL Apparel is the first premium long pants brand for men with long legs and tall frame. Want to know more about TEAL Apparel and how we started? Read on for my first in-depth self interview.
Q&A with Jenni, Founder of TEAL Apparel
Q: Why did you start TEAL Apparel?
J: I started TEAL Apparel to solve a personal problem: provide premium clothing for men with long legs and a tall frame. To this day, I find it nearly impossible to find clothes that fit well and are made of quality materials. Ie set out to remove this obstacle and make the entire shopping process from search to purchase, easy and straight-forward.
Q: How was your business idea conceived?
J: In 2010, during a shopping trip in Las Vegas (a destination with something for everyone) that we realized that existing retailers still had nothing for Tall Men (only Big Men) and the custom tailor was the only place to find quality clothes that fit. I had a light bulb moment and decided right there, that I had to do something and build a brand where men with long legs and a tall frame and their loved ones could shop for clothes that fit well and look great.
Q: How did you come up with the name TEAL Apparel?
Left: The original Thornton (aka Thorn), Right: Thornton II
J: TEAL is an acronym for my husband Ed’s family name: Thornton Edward Arthur Lallier. Ed’s Dad is the Junior, Ed is the Third and our Son is the Fourth. If your Grandfather and Father have long legs it’s likely you will too and with that come some of the same upsides and downsides. We decided to use Ed’s family name because we wanted TEAL to reflect the generational challenge to find clothes.
Q: What’s the inspiration behind the logo?
Thornton’s signet ring from WWI
J: The TEAL logo is actually the Lallier family seal. Ed’s Grandfather (the original Thornton Edward Arthur Lallier) was in France during the World War I in 1914 and he wanted to have something to remember his experience overseas. He had a jeweler create a signet ring with his initials on it. The jeweler juxtaposed all 4 of initials on top of each other to create the logo you see now. Since our Company name is Ed’s family name, it made sense to use our family seal as well to represent it graphically.
Q: Who is the TEAL Man?
- The TEAL Man has long legs (inseam 34”+)
- He has a hard time finding pants long enough to cover his legs
- He prefers not to shop at Big and Tall stores
- He may have his clothes custom made
Q: Why did you choose to focus on the premium segment of the tall market?
J: There are many casual Tall and Big and Tall clothing brands in today’s market, but there are no premium designer brands that focus entirely on this market. We wanted to be the first to deliver such an offering and build a brand committed to clothing and improving the Tall lifestyle.
Q: Why are you launching with pants and nothing else?
J: Pants, particularly Chinos, are the most difficult piece of clothing to find for men with long legs so we wanted to tackle that issue first. You can hide your short sleeves by rolling the sleeves up but you cannot hide floods. If your pants are too short and the seat of the pants do not fit, it will show. I want to build a brand focused on solving tall & long clothing problems, one garment at a time.
Q: How were you able to launch TEAL Apparel?
Above: Jenni working on the website development, Right: Ed helping to package the chinos
J: Resourcefulness and tenacity were two major reasons I was able to get this idea off the ground. I am also truly passionate about clothing for Tall Men with long legs and worked really hard to make the vision into a reality. I am “bootstrapping” the business and using our connections in the retail, finance, and technology industries to help us organize and construct the Brand. We concluded the only way we to deliver a best in class product was to control the entire process from design, manufacture and retailing. We are able to provide a premium product at a lower cost than what the market currently offers because we sell directly to our customers versus going through distributors.
Q: Do you have any experience in the Fashion Industry?
J: Yes, I worked at Banana Republic. We combined this experience with other past jobs in finance and brand management to create a very well-rounded outlook on how to create and manage TEAL. I also know when to contract out to specialists when I am not the master. Building a great operational team has been the most time intensive project, and it is ongoing, however it has given us a significant edge when it comes to executing results.
Q: What is your value proposition?
J: We have 6 actually: Fit, Quality, Service, Value, Accessibility and Style.
FIT: The proportions and fit of countless prototypes have been tested so that TEAL’s original design flatters the man with long legs and a tall frame.
QUALITY: Made of the best materials in the world and handcrafted proudly in Massachusetts, U.S.A.
SERVICE: Returns and exchanges are easy. Your shopping experience to be enjoyable and stress-free.
VALUE: I believe our pants rival the finest brands in the market, but sold at a lower cost to our customers because TEAL designs, manufactures and retails itself.
ACCESSIBILITY: Sold exclusively online, available 24/7, mailed right to you in a few days.
STYLE: TEAL designs incorporate versatility, function and form to elevate your lifestyle.
Q: What is next for TEAL?
J: Color. TEAL launched with a golden khaki pant, but know that the TEAL Man wants options and different colors to get through the week.
Q: What makes the TEAL Premium chino better than any other khaki out there?
J: First, the fit is designed specifically for the man who has long legs and a tall frame which is unlike anything you can find. Second, the quality of all of the materials used to make the pants as well as its construction enable you to live in your pants comfortably without restriction. Third, the design details have long legs and a tall athletic frame in mind like our pockets that have openings that are angled and large enough for proportionally larger hands and longer pocket bags so the items in your pocket are set deep enough and won’t fall out. The pant legs and knee openings are extended so you can feeland look good in your pants, but not look like you’re wearing wind sails. The saddle of the pant is tailored with more of a curve so that it accomodates the bottom. And, we leave our pant legs unfinished with enough length so that you can customize your hem to a ½ inch increment or a cuff.
Q: How do you style your TEAL Premium Chino?
J: My husband has a couple looks for my TEAL chinos. First, he likes to wear a button down long sleeve shirt from Facconable with Allen Edmonds dress shoes and a tailored blue blazer for work. And, for errands and family time on the weekend he like to pair a short sleeve polo shirt from Peter Millar with Sperry topsiders. Comfort and versatility are important to him and the TEAL chino achieves this!