Kristen Slowe, creator of Saboteur men's clothing, is taking on Silicon Valley one disheveled tech geek at a time. And Slowe knows from tech geeks. She's married to Reddit founder Christopher Slowe, who has a Ph.D. from Harvard in Math and Physics. He's the kind of guy who has things on his mind other than what he's wearing — exactly Mrs. Slowe's target customer.
One might argue that Silicon Valley execs don't care enough about their wardrobe to purchase anything from Saboteur. Slowe suspected as much, so she ran an online survey that found her Silicon Valley business friends did care. They said they felt outgunned fashion-wise by colleagues in places like NYC where cargo shorts are not typically acceptable business meeting attire.
Armed with that intel and a passion to knock some fashion sense into startup culture, Slowe, a FIDM graduate, secured a partnership with Justin Kan of Justin.tv fame, and designed a line of shirts and sport coats that are beautifully tailored but accessible for fashion newbies.
A seemingly simple plaid shirt, for example, has French cuffs. The highlight of the line is the "Invincible" jacket ($800, other jackets are $350), which would be perfectly appropriate at a business meeting in the most cosmopolitan locale. It features functional cuff buttons, red contrast stitching, and a gorgeous red silk lining. It's also completely water proof, wind proof, stain resistant and breathable, with taped seams to really keep the moisture out. Perfect for foggy San Francisco bike commutes. The interior pockets are tailored to hold electronics without sagging, complete with a slot for headphones to slip through, natch.
The collection includes four other jackets and six shirt styles ($125 each). Slowe will soon find out if geeks are willing to step up their style game. Saboteur opens for business online Wednesday.
Disclosure: Kristen Slowe is a friend, and my husband modeled for the website. But he still happily payed for his jacket!