If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you know how horrendously unfashionable guys can be these days. Offices and coworking spaces from Sunnyvale all the way up to the city are filled to the brim with dudes in jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, and sandals, all kind of looking like they’re about to spend the rest of the day hanging out, getting drunk, and watching TV.
Subscription commerce startup Bombfell believes things don’t have to be that way. And it’s attempting to cure our aversion to dressing well with a monthly subscription service that will send users at least one piece of fashionable clothing per month for just $69 dollars.
Bombfell isn’t the first subscription commerce startup targeting the male fashion market, and it won’t be the last, but it combines an ease-of-use, affordability, and personalization that few others can match. When you sign up for the service, you provide the site with your measurements, body type, a list of brands that you wear, and some general information about the type of styles you prefer, as well as those you wouldn’t be caught dead in.
The startup then selects one piece of clothing a month to send to you, based on your preferences, and charges you $69 for it. Currently the startup touts a system which takes into account all the info that you’ve submitted, as well as past orders, and then passes it on to a stylist, who makes the final determination of what to send. That’s one way it’s able to continue scaling, even though it’s very quickly adding new users.
Bombfell doesn’t just send leftover, off-brand clothes that no one would want to wear, either. It buys high-quality clothing from big brands you’ve heard of, like Ben Sherman, Original Penguin, French Connection. It also hunts down up-and-coming designers that are normally found in boutiques — names like BTNS, Maker & Company, and Farm Tactics. And since Bombfell operates on a pretty forecastable monthly subscription model, it doesn’t have to carry a ton of inventory month-to-month to support its growth.
But what if you don’t like what they send? Or if it doesn’t fit? Just send it back (free shipping’s included), and Bombfell will give you your money back and take the return into account the next time it picks something out for you.
Bombfell launched in private beta last spring and opened up to the general public in November, allowing anyone to sign up for its monthly clothing delivery service. It’s already backed by 500 Startups (It’s part of this summer’s Accelerator program), as well as angels that include David Shen, Galen Ward, Diane Loviglio, and Kavin Stewart.
Despite not being around for that long, it’s already sporting some pretty impressive metrics. The average lifetime value of one of its users is more than $500, which means that they’re typically staying signed up for at least six or seven months. It’s getting some help from some major tech companies in the Valley, with Facebook, Twitter, and Google all offering Bombfell discounts to their employees. But despite its initial partners in the tech scene, the service is available to all guys in the U.S. with a credit card and a desire to not dress like a slob.
Anyway, in preparation for Father’s Day, Bombfell put together this photo of “dads in tech,” showing off what they could look like if they signed up and started getting their own monthly packages of clothing shipped. That includes 500 Startups founder and Sith Lord Dave McClure, KISSmetrics CEO Hiten Shah, and Glenn Allen, co-founder of Pocket Labs and OpenTable. And I mean, Dave McClure didn’t dress up to meet Hillary Clinton, so any startup that can get him looking snazzy probably has something going for it.