Time to up your sock game? Meet Caroline, founder of the fresh and crisp sock brand Manitou. Currently operating from Singapore, Manitou aims to put the spotlight back on what they believe to be the essence of every wardrobe: good quality socks with a fresh aesthetic. Curious? Read the interview to learn more about the brand and their unique business model.
Hi Caroline. How is life in Singapore?
Singapore is amazing. We just launched our new website and collection and I am very proud of the end result. Of course, the tropical climate is definitely helping to make everything feel even more exciting!
Where does the name ‘Manitou’ come from?
‘Manitou’ actually means ‘the essence’ and comes from Native American culture. Socks say more about a person than you would initially think. Are you more organized, critical or maybe outgoing? We discovered that a lot of men do not appreciate the importance of wearing good quality socks and what it can express. We aim to stress this constantly: Always crisp and without the distraction of busy prints.
Why is it so important to wear good quality socks?
Socks are just as important as a good pair of jeans or a comfortable sweater. Some people might think that, because socks are tucked away inside your shoes, they require less attention. However, people see more than you think! Furthermore, the comfort of having good quality socks adds so much.
Could you tell us about the composition of material? Why is it unique?
Our socks are made from high quality cotton. We aim to design a sock that feels nice and soft, has a good fit and that does not have any harsh or uncomfortable lines at the toes. Furthermore, the heel and toe section use thicker material to optimize quality.
Did this require a lot of experimentation?
Oh definitely! We experimented and tested the socks on a lot of different men to make sure that they will maintain their comfort.
Are there also a lot of women that wear Manitou socks? Why do you primarily focus on men?
We do notice that more women start to wear our socks as well. A very interesting development, for sure! However, our primary target group focusses on men, because we noticed a gap between how men would use and buy socks. We even noticed that, when speaking to different types of consumers, a lot of men do not even remember where they got their socks from. Therefore, we offer subscription packages that offer sock deliveries every one, three or six months. Very convenient!
What are the developments when looking at socks from a fashion/trend perspective?
Men have become far more fashion conscious over the last 10 years. They have started to treat their outfit with more care and the sock is becoming an increasingly important part of this. After all, both a nice suit or a more casual outfit feel more complete with a carefully selected sock.
How did the design process go? What were the challenges?
I followed my gut feeling and picked out the colors myself. I chose what colors I would find attractive and looked at what would fit the market.
Where should ‘Manitou’ be heading to?
On a short term, we are very interested in discovering Asia. We are curious to see how they will respond to the concept. On the long term: a women’s and children’s collection. That would be amazing!