Fresh off a successful appearance on the reality TV show “Shark Tank,” a Bethesda-based men’s fashion start-up will open its first physical store at Tysons Galleria this weekend.
The Collars & Co. pop-up will launch Sunday (Nov. 20) on the mall’s first floor in front of Saks Fifth Avenue. It will stay open through Thanksgiving weekend, departing after Dec. 4, the company announced Wednesday (Nov. 16).
“Inspired by holiday jet-setting, the pop-up store will highlight the comfort and versatility of Collars & Co.’s quality menswear products that make it the perfect clothing for holiday travel as well as the best gifts for men on-the-go,” the press release said.
The opening comes on the heels of Collars & Co. founder and CEO Justin Baer securing an investment deal worth $1 million on an episode of “Shark Tank” that aired Nov. 11.
Founded in 2021, the company has laid claim to inventing a “dress collar polo” as a more comfortable alternative to formal men’s dress shirts. It has sold 92,000 shirts and made $5.4 million with only online sales so far, Baer told the show’s panel of investors.
“It’s a stretchy, comfortable golf shirt, except the top has a firm collar on it, so it gives you the exact same look of a dress shirt, but it’s really just a comfortable polo,” Baer said in his pitch. “…We are helping guys look stylish and stay comfortable.”
The panel sounded impressed by the quality of the shirts, a few of which were handed out as examples, and the early success that the business has seen, but Baer nearly ended up empty-handed after he rejected a proposal from “sharks” Mark Cuban and Peter Jones.
The billionaire entrepreneurs offered to provide $300,000 in cash and a $700,000 line of credit for a 10% stake in Collars & Co., higher than the 3% Baer was seeking. He argued the offer was undervaluing the company, which led to comments about the unpredictable nature of fashion trends and fears of a looming recession.
“People aren’t buying shirts when they can’t pay their mortgage,” FUBU CEO Daymond John said, warning that “everything goes out of style.”
When Cuban and Jones said they wouldn’t invest for less than 10%, Baer relented and accepted their offer, which included market-rate interest.
“It’s first dollar in, meaning I get paid the minute you get paid by your customer,” Cuban said.
Open during regular mall hours, the Tysons Galleria store will have those signature dress collar polo shirts, a brand-new outerwear collection, and accessories. There will also be “an Instagram-worthy first-class travel photo opp” where shoppers can take pictures “in a space designed to look like the interior of a private jet,” the press release said.
It’s going to be a cold and rainy weekend in Fairfax County, thanks to Tropical Storm Ophelia. Tracking to make landfall in North Carolina today (Friday), the storm is expected to reach Northern Virginia tonight.
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