March 30, 2020

From Finance To Social Media To Fashion

I worked on Wall Street for a dozen years — from the Dot-com collapse through the great financial crisis — working in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Sitting above the Chinese Wall as the intermediary between the sell side and the buy side, doing bond deals with every major bank on Wall Street, I saw it all.

After getting sued for joining Goldman Sachs over a contractual non-compete, I decided to leave the industry.

I started a Twitter account (@GSElevator) to illuminate and satirize Wall Street culture, wrote a book (Barron’s called it ‘a classic of the genre’) about my experiences in banking (currently in development as a movie), and grew my social media footprint to well over one million followers.

However, there’s only so much opining I can do on finance bro culture without being repetitive. But I still have 1.2 million followers — mostly aspirational, finance-orientated, young professionals — and that’s probably worth something?

So I started leveraging that platform to explore my interest in fashion.

It started innocuously — writing fashion guides and articles for Business Insider, CNBC, and others — although, I’ve never considered myself to be a writer.

I also started supporting lifestyle brands and products I believed in on social media. I recommended Birddogs shorts in 2015 when their sales were $300,000. This year, they’ll do $20 million. In 2017, I discovered the Danish sunglass startup, Christopher Cloos, which wasn’t even available in the United States. Now, they have more than 60 SKUs, are in more than 500 retailers, and are as ubiquitous as Gucci loafers and Patagonia vests on Finance Instagram.

I wrote first, and simply, about socks, and believed in a few, simple truths:

  • Socks don’t add personality or fashion sense
  • Colorful and gimmicky socks are dumb
  • I hate pairing and sorting socks
  • Color-matching is a waste of time
  • There is no better way to start the day than with new, crisp socks. So I like replenish my top drawer every few months
  • Socks should be forgotten about, but not neglected

The feedback I received was phenomenal. So I decided to start my own company — with an early focus on the neglected top drawer.

Getting started was exceptionally easy, and the mission was simple. I wanted to ignore fads and trends and instead focus on quality, comfort, convenience, a timeless aesthetic, and value.

After testing dozens of socks from Neiman Marcus and other high-end retailers, I settled on a preferred blend, found the factory that made it, and then slightly tweaked it — less cotton, more spandex and polyester — to give a more breathable, lighter, silkier feel, and to prevent slippage. These are socks that retail for $15–20, but we deliver them to you for about $6–7, in quantities and intervals of your choosing.

And now, I’m expanding. Aggressively.

Earlier this year, I launched a line of minimalist modal underwear. Modal is a premium, natural, eco-friendly fabric that is vastly superior to cotton, with natural odor-fighting properties that absorb 50% more moisture and is resistant to shrinkage, greying and pilling.

And now, I’m taking on my nemesis — the classic undershirt — by offering a shirt that is 100% invisible, has a deeper V, is tighter (slimming), longer (stays tucked), and also made primarily of modal.

Having conquered the top drawer in 2019, we’re expanding our product offering to include limited edition ties, card cases, and (soon) leather goods, without deviating from the ethos of the brand — which is that a man should rely on his wit and intellect to speak for him, ahead of any fashion choice.

Stay tuned…

John LeFevre

John LeFevre

Former banker (NYC, London, HK), social media character (GSElevator), and bestselling author (Straight To Hell)

View all posts by John LeFevre →

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