Mark One Sweater Crowdfunding
Mark One Sweater
Hillflint is one of our favorite manufacturers because of their proven track record of providing excellent customer service and high quality products. Since last winter — when Dartmouth College graduate John Shi first got started sourcing and knitting sweaters out of his apartment in Seattle, WA — Hillflint’s throwback style sweaters have been a hit with New England college students. And now they are bringing their experience in crafting high-end knitwear to the general menswear market with the launch of their ‘Mark One Sweater’ — a conservatively styled crewneck made with 1.4lb of Australian merino wool — via their Kickstarter fundraising campaign that went live today.
Hillflint’s Mission and History
Hillflint makes conservatively styled knits from the best materials in the world at a price point that won’t break the bank. “Executives at major department stores have told us our knits outmatch the quality of items on the market for $300 plus,” Co-Founder Woody Hines said. Hillflint’s first knitwear project, a Class Year sweater made of merino wool dyed in Ivy League color schemes and with class numerals intarsia-knitted across the chest, was inspired by an image from Take Ivy, the Japanese photobook that has become a cult hit among ‘trad’ enthusiasts.
What Sets their New Sweater Apart?
While Hillflint has sold thousands of luxury collegiate sweaters to Ivy League students and alumni, the Mark One Sweater represents their desire to bring high-quality knitwear to a wider audience. This wide-crewneck sweater is made from 100 percent extra-fine Australian merino wool, and it weighs in at almost one and a half pounds. When asked to describe the Mark One, Co-Founder John L. Shi said, “the Mark One represents everything we stand for as a brand: a collegiate-inspired aesthetic, uncompromisingly luxurious fabric and a modern, tailored fit – sold at a reasonable price.”
Why Hold a Crowdfunding Campaign?
Making the decision to crowdfund in order to get these sweaters in front of a bigger audience was a way for Hillflint to test demand for their idea. Rather than taking an inventory bet for an unproven concept, crowdfunding enables Hillflint to inexpensively test the viability of their new venture without betting the business on its success. Customers also benefit because the sweaters are available for pre-order at a significant discount off of retail, $85. There are a grand total of zero companies on the market today that come close to offering a 1.4lb all-merino knit at that price point.
How does the Mark One Fit?
According to the company’s Co-Founders, the Mark One was created to deliver a superior fit in a marketplace that is filled with overly baggy sweaters. When discussing this problem, Shi said,
“Big brands like Brooks Brothers cut their sweaters to reach the most customers so they can maximize revenue, but the fit of these sweaters is just a constant disappointment for guys who are in shape.”
Hillflint made the decision to target men who have active lifestyles. Therefore, the Mark One is not a baggy sweater. According to Shi, “most sweaters have roomy stomachs and tight waistbands that conspire to produce a frumpy muffin-effect. With any movement whatsoever, that tight waistband rides up your body to create that annoying mass market sweater bulge.” In order to combat this problem, the decision was made to cut the Mark One slimmer through the stomach and drastically reduce the elasticity of the waistband. The Mark One also features a ribbed waist and arm cuffs, precision linked raglan sleeves for increased mobility and an extra wide crew-neck collar that was inspired by the Varsity Letters of old. With all of these details, it is no wonder that the Founders of Hillflint have referred to the Mark One as the “perfect sweater.”
How do I get Started?
You can pre-order the Mark One via their Kickstarter campaign for $85.
We cannot possibly recommend the company highly enough based on our own personal experience with their customer service team. It is also important to note that Hillflint has a long list of repeat customers who have been very satisfied with their products.
“We found our customers were consistently coming back to us saying this was some of the best wool they had ever felt — even customers who confess to knowing nothing at all about clothing tell us that in spite of their lack of expertise, the quality of our wool is obvious and astounding,”
said Hines. “Customers eagerly started pressing us to create a similar sweater without the college-branding.”
All press requests, including interviews, should be sent to woody(at)hillflint(dot)com. To order the Mark One sweater for only $85 with free shipping, visit Hillflint’s Kickstarter campaign today.
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