GREENWICH, Conn. -- Colby Kane came up with the concept for his Aviator brand of clothes while jogging around Tod's Point in Greenwich.
The longtime designer and art director, who grew out of the fast-paced world of New York City fashion as an art director at Macy’s, admits he started the clothing line nine years ago as a way to evoke the "jet-setter lifestyle."
One of his first accounts, in fact, was with Mitchells and Richards (in Westport and Greenwich), and it grew from there.
“I was passionate about producing American-made vintage preppy inspired clothes,” he said.
The Greenwich native – he lived in Fairfield County for more than 20 years – eventually found himself in Los Angeles, where he found family-run factories that could produce the type of quality product he wanted but with the “made in America” stamp.
But that changed in 2012 when he noticed other brands starting to do the same thing as Aviator and figured he had to do something different.
“I realized I needed to charge my business model to be a very modern brand that combines function, comfort, and style into every piece,” said Kane, who now lives permanently in LA. “I also didn't want to sell wholesale anymore because I found it hard to connect with my customers through the middleman.”
And so, he relaunched Aviator on Kickstarter as a strictly online business. That was two years ago; he has since launched four more successful Kickstarter projects and now has customers from Greenwich to Paris and Tokyo.
His collection runs the gamut from jeans to T-shirts though his biggest seller – and what has earned him various accolades and awards — is his high performance hoodie, which come in men's and women’s sizes.
Kane claims there’s not another hoodie like it on the market, mainly because it’s made with a natural antimicrobial finish, meaning it doesn't hold odor and protects against germs. It also moves with you, giving you lots of stretch.
Other features include an oversized hood. Kangaroo pouch, and hidden pocket (fits an iPhone 6) with a button hole for earbuds.
“Not only are we keeping manufacturing in the USA alive and well, " he said, "We make everything ‘in house’ so we can monitor the whole process to ensure things are made right.”
Go to www.aviatorusa.com/ for pre-orders and more information.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.