THE ORIGIN STORY
Let us catch you up: About 5 years ago the founder, Darren DeBerg, noticed how drab men’s clothes were (and still are). The options at some of his go-to retail stores lacked basics in bright colors for men. He was desperately hunting for a plain, short-sleeve, v-neck, yellow t-shirt (or a red, orange, blue, green or purple one). Just the normal primary and secondary colors you’d find in a box of Crayola crayons. You’d think it would be easy to find basic shirts in normal colors.
At the time of Darren's searching, his wife started to call the men’s section of every store “The Funeral Shop” because black, navy, gray and brown are in excess in men’s departments. You can be sure men will always be ready for funerals given what is available at retail stores across the nation. Occasionally there are actual colors but for the most part, they’re various shades of pastel. Sure, you can find the odd men’s colorful t-shirt, but it was too random to be reliable.
While Darren combed stores for the bright-colored apparel desired, he decided to find out how shirts were actually made and what was really going on in the apparel industry. He wanted to make what he couldn’t find.
He looked at working with manufacturers in Canada, China, Vietnam, the United States, Indonesia and countries in Latin America. Many manufacturers were filled to capacity, not taking new customers, were exorbitantly priced, couldn’t take him on because of his initial low order quantities or had restrictive international business barriers. After a year of contacting 30 or more different manufacturers, he found one who would work with him for low quantities and would be willing to send color samples before production (because color is key!).
Once he found a good partner in China, Darren mailed sample goods and after a few weeks the manufacturer created samples with dyed cloth in the colors he wanted and they’d ship it back for him across the ocean for a few weeks to review. After that, Darren would review and send back edits.
Short version of that process: creating a plain, v-neck, short-sleeve, yellow t-shirt for a man is NOT simple.
After 5 years (FIVE years, people), Darren finally had clothes he was happy with and a manufacturer he could trust. Now to create a real company! Darren hired the branding agency, Avenue C, to create a brand that reflected the ethos of his dream.
Monochrome was born officially in 2019 but Darren needed more products than just men’s t-shirts, so he got to work and built a wonderful array of items:
And he is already in the process of creating the following lines:
- Linens (housewear?)
Which brings us to: now! The wait is over...you can don yourself in each of the primary and secondary colors you know and love from that first box of crayons: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.