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Materials & Assembly

NASA Helps Professionals Keep Their Cool

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naperlou
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Progress in business clothing
naperlou   8/16/2012 8:50:57 AM
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This really meets a need.  I have friends in business in Miami who need to wear a suit all the time.  They tell me they change their shirts three times a day in the summer.  If I could offer some free marketing advise to the guys at Ministry of Supply, you should try selling your products in places like Miami which have high humidity and hot summers. 

What is great is that this idea, of taking high tech materials developed for the space program and applying them to business clothing, is that they shake up an industry that has not changed for a long time without having to throw out the whole style. 

I guess this is how the guys in Star Trek could wear just one type of clothing all the time. 

Jennifer Campbell
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Gold
Re: Progress in business clothing
Jennifer Campbell   8/16/2012 9:20:43 AM
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I would love to get my hands on one of these shirts so I could test of the idea of wearing it for 1-2 weeks straight without having to wash or iron it.

Also, the story mentions men's shirts, but there is a woman wearing one in the photo. Makes me wonder if she customized the men's shirt, or if there is a line for women, as well. If not, that would be a great (and obvious) population to branch out to.

Kevin Rustagi
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Re: Progress in business clothing
Kevin Rustagi   8/16/2012 1:46:11 PM
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Thanks for your post Jennifer!

 

The most we've heard people wearing them without washing is about 5 days.  We don't recommend going beyond that, but if you insist, we'd love to hear how it goes!

 

Our co-founder Kit is shown wearing a shirt that she had tailored (<$20) locally.  We are investigating what a women's line would look like and would love to look at that as early as next year.

 

Feel free to use the discount code: DESIGN-NEWS for $10 off if you want to check out the shirts!  Contact us at founders@ministryofsupply.com with any other questions,

 

Cheers,
Kevin // MoS.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Progress in business clothing
Rob Spiegel   8/16/2012 4:33:13 PM
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Thanks for your comments, Kevin. And thanks for the discount for Design News readers. Sounds like you're without competition for the time being.

Kevin Rustagi
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Re: Progress in business clothing
Kevin Rustagi   8/16/2012 5:45:06 PM
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Of course Rob,

We love joining in the conversation. 

Thanks for covering the story!  We're very excited about making headway into the realm of business apparel and really bringing design into that field.

 

Have a great day!

Kevin // MoS.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Progress in business clothing
Rob Spiegel   8/17/2012 10:30:08 AM
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So tell us, Kevin, what prompted this move into apparel? Was it difficult to obtain the technology for the shirts? Do the founders have a background in apparel?

Kevin Rustagi
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Re: Progress in business clothing
Kevin Rustagi   8/17/2012 12:27:39 PM
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Thanks Rob!

The move into apparel was a long time coming for us - it's something that we took on, actually after multiple team members experienced this issue.  We have a background in product design, having so fortunately worked with firms such as IDEO and Apple.

Tech for the shirts is something we have long been developing and testing.  We are fortunate to work with one of the best textile mills in the country, and have worked closely with us to specify our unique fabric.  In terms of technology/testing - we are the only ones doing it in this way in business apparel.

One of our founders, Gihan, actually sewed his own line of outdoor apparel as a boy scout growing up.  He also sewed our first shirt.  Another, Kit, worked with Lululemon on the finance side.  Aman also is an avid sock enthusiast.

Thanks for asking - let us know if we can help in any other way!

Kevin.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Progress in business clothing
Rob Spiegel   8/17/2012 1:24:43 PM
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Kevin,

How did you come by the technology? It is tech transfer from NASA? Is it the public domain? I would imagine some of your procedures are proprietary, but the basic technology must have been available to you.

Mydesign
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Re: Progress in business clothing
Mydesign   8/17/2012 3:59:50 AM
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Kevin thanks for the discount coupons. I have just ordered one Apollo Shirt ($105), but they are charging $25 extra for international shipping. Letís see how itís going to work it out. I donít know the cost of normal shirts in US, but with these price I can buy minimum 6 normal shirts in my local currency.

Kevin Rustagi
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Re: Progress in business clothing
Kevin Rustagi   8/17/2012 12:44:48 PM
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@Mydesign:

 

Thanks so much!  We're so excited to hear what you think about the shirts!  The cost of dress shirts in the USA varies widely, from bargain woven shirts, up to hundreds of dollars at some retailers.  We view ours as premium, but not luxury.  

If you do decide to purchase them in multiples, please contact our product team at labs@ministryofsupply.com  - they'll be able to give you our most recent offers re:international shipping.

Thanks!

Kevin.

 

 

 

Mydesign
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Re: Progress in business clothing
Mydesign   8/22/2012 1:03:01 AM
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Thanks, Kevin. Sure I will write to you if I have more requirements from my friends and colleagues. We are eagerly waiting for our first order.

Kevin Rustagi
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Iron
Re: Progress in business clothing
Kevin Rustagi   8/16/2012 6:14:22 PM
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Video Comment


Charles Murray
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Never would have thought of it
Charles Murray   8/16/2012 7:06:01 PM
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Sometimes I look at the stories on the Design News website and say, "why couldn't I think of that?" In this case, though, I'll admit that it never occurred to me that there could be a solution to this problem. Short of installing little fans inside the shirt, I wouldn't have believed this was possible. Kudos to the inventors.

Kevin Rustagi
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Iron
Re: Never would have thought of it
Kevin Rustagi   8/17/2012 9:50:15 AM
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Thanks so much Charles!  We're so excited to be working on a project that captures that kind of imagination; we really approached this from a sense of - "Where can we find this?"  When we couldn't find what we wanted, we decided to create it and start a company around it when other people got excited.

NadineJ
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Platinum
not new but...
NadineJ   8/16/2012 8:45:01 PM
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Performance textiles used in non-sports related clothing isn't new.  Companies like Outlier and Nau target the hybrid market (active people who bike or skateboard to work but need to look professional).

This approach is unique and definitely opens up new possibilities.  Adding "NASA" also brings a little bling to the story.  Good job!

Definitely get this to the Japanese market.  Casual days are very awkward in the summer.  Most businessmen don't know WHAT to wear!

warren@fourward.com
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Platinum
Dress shirts?
warren@fourward.com   8/16/2012 8:46:00 PM
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What a great idea!  As a guy who wears a lot of white shirts I am always complaining about being hot and sticky.  Finally, someone was thinking about me!

If they can only add in internet hotspot with good reception...

Now, how to convince my wife who only likes cotton...

 

Kevin Rustagi
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Iron
Re: Dress shirts?
Kevin Rustagi   8/17/2012 12:56:30 PM
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Thanks so much Warren!

 

We've definitely got you in mind!  We haven't quite developed hotspots, but we'll let you know...

 

One of the best ways to check out the fabric is our new send a swatch program.  We'll be putting it on the website soon, but if you send me (kevin@ministryofsupply.com) your address, I can send you a free swatch of the fabric.

Thanks!

Kevin.  

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Dress shirts?
Charles Murray   8/17/2012 6:06:36 PM
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Kevin, do you foresee that $100 pricetag coming down as economies of scale kick in? If so, I'll be getting in line to buy one.

Kevin Rustagi
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Iron
Re: Dress shirts?
Kevin Rustagi   8/17/2012 10:39:36 PM
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Thanks Charles, We're actually offering our Agent Shirt, which is also moisture wicking and breathable for $85. Thanks for your interest! Definitely shoot us an email at founders@ministryofsupply.com or call us at 617.651.2340 with any other questions. Cheers, Kevin

Charles Murray
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Re: Dress shirts?
Charles Murray   8/21/2012 9:52:19 PM
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Kevin, I am curious about one thing: How do you guage the performance of this shirt in a measurable (quantitative) way? Is there any way to tell how well it's working? 

Greg M. Jung
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New Material
Greg M. Jung   8/16/2012 11:28:21 PM
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Great idea.  Concerning the new phase changing polymer, any test data for any allergic reaction to skin?

Kevin Rustagi
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Iron
Re: New Material
Kevin Rustagi   8/17/2012 9:53:53 AM
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Hi Greg, Thanks so much for asking!

 

Our textile manufacturers do extensive testing, and we have yet to see any allergic reactions.  That said - if you are allergic to synthetics or polyesters I would avoid them.  If you're really curious, you can always order one and return it (free shipping both ways, any reason)

 

Definitely shoot us an email at founders@ministryofsupply.com or call at 617.651.2340 if you have further questions,

 

Thanks,
Kevin // MoS.

 

Greg M. Jung
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Platinum
Re: New Material
Greg M. Jung   8/18/2012 11:00:49 AM
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Thanks for the feedback on skin sensitivity.  Hope you find success with this new business venture.

Kevin Rustagi
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Iron
Re: New Material
Kevin Rustagi   8/18/2012 11:59:58 AM
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Thanks so much Greg! Really appreciate you chatting with us! Have a great weekend, Kevin

Scott Orlosky
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Re: New Material
Scott Orlosky   8/20/2012 11:27:39 PM
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This is a really exciting development in my book.  As a runner and avid backpacker, the prospect of a shirt that keeps me cool, doesn't stink and doesn't leave me feeling sticky at the end of the day sounds too good be be true. After you've saturated the dress shirt market, be sure to turn your attention back to the sports performance arena.  We'll be waiting!

Mydesign
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Platinum
Cool Shirts
Mydesign   8/17/2012 3:44:10 AM
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Elizebeth, thanks for this interesting post. I think the major objections may come from Deodorant and AC manufacturing companies. Is it available in public market?

Kevin Rustagi
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Iron
Re: Cool Shirts
Kevin Rustagi   8/17/2012 9:56:48 AM
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@Cool Shirts:

 

Thanks so much!  We're definitely focused on striking fear into the hearts of deodorant companies... well maybe not as crazy as that :)

 

On a serious note though, we're very excited about something that is that cool and comfortable.

 

The shirts are available at ministryofsupply.com - we've got a few on backorder because of our recent Kickstarter campaign, but feel free to email us directly at founders@ministryofsupply.com with any questions you've got.

 

Thanks!

Kevin // MoS.

Jack Rupert, PE
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Platinum
Another Space Program Offshoot
Jack Rupert, PE   8/22/2012 1:43:36 PM
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Another interesting non-astronaut product with it's origins in the apace industry.  It's a shame that the government and people in general don't see that it isn't just about studying the surface of the moon and that there are real outgrowths from the science and the technology developed to support the science.

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Re: Another Space Program Offshoot
notarboca   8/25/2012 6:30:05 PM
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@Jack Rupert, PE--A spot on observation about the emergence of new and varied technologies from space exploration.  As for me, I would definitely wear an Apollo shirt, as summer here in the South is beastly!

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