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Cure a Collapsing, Weak Collar with our Newest Shirt Design Feature — Million Dollar Collar

Jean-Baptiste
weak collar

The Dread­ed Col­laps­ing Col­lar

Weak col­lar.  As pro­fes­sion­al shirt mak­ers, it’s one of our biggest pet-peeves, i.e. a col­lar that falls apart or col­laps­es when worn with a suit or blaz­er, sans tie.  No shirt is immune from the dread­ed weak col­lar.  Believe it or not, high­er thread count / fin­er ($$$) weaves (i.e. 2ply 120s Poplins / Broad­cloths) are more sub­ject to this type of col­laps­ing effect since these fab­rics are very light and can’t hold the weight of a jack­et.

So how do you solve it?  We’ve typ­i­cal­ly rec­om­mend­ed guys either a.) select a ‘weight­i­er’ fab­ric like a Twill, Pin­point, or Oxford since these can with­stand the weight of a jack­et or b.) select a But­ton Down Col­lar or add hid­den but­tons behind the col­lar points which pre­vents the points from falling.   From our per­spec­tive, there real­ly was no oth­er solu­tion that exist­ed beyond this.

Through a refer­ral, we were intro­duced to Mil­lion Dol­lar Col­lar (MDC) — an inno­v­a­tive prod­uct that pre­vents shirt col­lars from droop­ing or col­laps­ing result­ing in absolute­ly per­fect shirt col­lar.  The prod­uct itself is a flex­i­ble plastic/nylon insert that when installed in the plack­et, stiff­ens the upper part of the shirt, result­ing in a crisp, more regal look.  It’s per­fect for those that love wear­ing their dress shirts with a jack­et sans tie.

After a series of suc­cess­ful field tests on dif­fer­ent shirts with our exist­ing cus­tomers, we made the deci­sion to add Mil­lion Dol­lar Col­lar as a new shirt design fea­ture.  Per below, you can now add this fea­ture to every one of our shirts via our Cus­tom Shirt Design­er.

Million Dollar Collar at Deo Veritas

Mil­lion Dol­lar Col­lar — Now Live on Deo Ver­i­tas’ Cus­tom Shirt Design­er

Deo Ver­i­tas is proud to announce our part­ner­ship with Mil­lion Dol­lar Col­lar.  We spent time with it’s founder / inven­tor — Rob Kessler on a Q&A to learn more about the prod­uct and his jour­ney as an entre­pre­neur.


Can you give us a bit of info regarding your own personal background?

Mil­lion Dol­lar Col­lar Inven­tor — Rob Kessler

I’ve always been a ‘tin­ker-er’. One of those kids that would break some­thing mess­ing around and I would have to quick­ly fig­ure out how to fix it before I got caught. It worked more often than not. I worked full-time though col­lege and grad­u­at­ed in 4 years. After Col­lege I got into real estate which I loved until the crash. I decid­ed to start a cloth­ing com­pa­ny in 2006 when graph­ic T’s were every where. I was being over charged by screen print­ers, so I bought all the equip­ment with a friend and he taught me how to screen print t-shirts. That busi­ness quick­ly expand­ed from my base­ment to a 6,000 square foot build­ing. Being in the cloth­ing busi­ness gave me the con­fi­dence I need­ed to start my cur­rent ven­ture.

 

Can you describe the ‘aha’ or ‘light bulb’ moment that occurred when you developed the idea behind Million Dollar Collar?

Rob dur­ing the moment the prover­bial ‘light bulb’ went on…

Absolute­ly.  My wed­ding day. I was look­ing at the pic­tures from my casu­al beach wed­ding. Bare­foot in the sand, pants rolled up, and for course no tie. Before I could say “I Do” my brand new, fresh­ly pressed shirt was a crum­bled mess, and I looked like a slob on the biggest day of my life. I remem­ber tug­ging at it all day long, just for it to fall down min­utes lat­er. After we returned home from Jamaica, I began cut­ting open shirts and test­ing every sin­gle type of plas­tic on the mar­ket.

Weak collar is how we describe it.  How do you typically describe the problem that MDC solves?

We call the weak col­lar, “plack­eti­tis” —  the sink­ing, wrin­kling, and fold­ing of the plack­et of a casu­al­ly worn dress shirt, and no one is immune. A lot of times, I’ll take a pic­ture of a guys shirt and show him exact­ly how his shirt looks and then have him com­pare it to mine. Almost instant­ly they go “yeah, I hate that!” Then I can show them how it gets hid­den in-between the lay­ers of the plack­et, after of course, I explain what a plack­et it, since almost no one real­ly knows.

weak collar vs. perfect shirt collar

The Before (Left) shows a weak col­lar vs. the After (Right) with Mil­lion Dol­lar Col­lar installed

From our standpoint MDC is very novel, yet surprisingly so. It doesn’t appear that you have any real competitors in this space. Any idea or thoughts as to why a product such as MDC has never existed before? How did guys solve this problem?

I won­der that myself. I think that since off the rack dress shirts have basi­cal­ly been made the same for 100+ years, and 90% of shirts come out of 1 of 2 fac­to­ries, there is just this archa­ic men­tal­i­ty about it. Most brands I talk to say either, “My shirts don’t do that” or “That’s not a prob­lem for our cus­tomers” The fact is, it wasn’t real­ly a prob­lem even 10 years ago, but stud­ies now say that near­ly 90% of dress shirts will rarely if ever be worn with a tie. All dress shirts have a fun­da­men­tal weak col­lar design flaw, the col­lar is too heavy for the plack­et to sup­port. So unlike every oth­er attempt to fix the prob­lem, we focused on rein­forc­ing the plack­et instead of some vari­a­tion of a col­lar stay. The biggest one I hear is “we use Wurkin Stiffs” the mag­net­ic col­lar stays. I like them too in addi­tion to Mil­lion Dol­lar Col­lar because they add more weight to the col­lar as it does not rein­force the plack­et in any way.

How difficult is it to install MDC on an existing shirt?

Put it this way, I taught myself how to sew and I can do any shirt in under 10 min­utes. But the tai­lors I talk to laugh at my time and say more like under 5 min­utes.  The insert itself is a light, flex­i­ble piece of plas­tic that is not at all vis­i­ble when installed in the plack­et.  After it’s done, you’re guar­an­teed to give you a per­fect shirt col­lar that will nev­er col­lapse.

How Mil­lion Dol­lar Col­lar Gets Installed on a Shirt

It looks like more and more, you’re also working directly with fashion brands to have the product ‘built in’ to shirts prior to purchase. Is that part of a larger effort to grow the company across different verticals?

That has always been a chan­nel for us, and after we launched and met with many major brands and were told to pound sand, we changed our approach. We focused on the end users to prove the con­cept. In our first 2 years we will have sold over 125,000 sets of Mil­lion Dol­lar Col­lar to image con­scious peo­ple in 90 coun­tries. Admit­ted­ly, that was the hard way. Some­one orders from our web­site, we mail them the stays they typ­i­cal­ly say “Now what? I don’t know how to sew.” Every order comes with detailed instruc­tions and our first 10,000+ cus­tomers were forced to walk into a tai­lor shop or dry-clean­er and try to con­vince them to give it a try. There were cer­tain­ly some bumps in the road iron­ing out that process. Our focus now is to work with small­er brands and to build that installer net­work. We now have near­ly 600 loca­tions on our map of reg­is­tered installers. As this phase grows, we know the big brands will come knock­ing, even­tu­al­ly.

From the side of a MTM shirt maker, we love the product as a perfect shirt collar is what many of our customers are after. We’re frequently asked by customers about this issue (i.e. weak collar or ‘placketitis’) and we typically direct guys to select heavier fabrics that have a more rigid structure (i.e. twills / oxfords). It’s great to now have a solution for other lighter weight fabrics as well. How do you see MDC appealing to those in the custom dress shirt space?

We see it as an incred­i­bly sim­ple upgrade. Just like dif­fer­ent cuffs and but­ton place­ment. With a sim­ple ques­tion, “are you going to wear a tie with this shirt? No? Great, we have the prod­uct for you.” Cus­tom dress shirt com­pa­nies deal with clients on a much more per­son­al lev­el and that gives them the unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to have a con­ver­sa­tion about Mil­lion Dol­lar Col­lar and the clients spe­cif­ic needs.  We’re excit­ed to part­ner with cus­tom dress shirt com­pa­nies such as Deo Ver­i­tas and hope MDC crush­es it!

Million Dollar Collar Now Live at Deo Veritas

Mil­lion Dol­lar Col­lar can be select­ed via our Shirt Design­er under Plack­et

 

Where do you see this product and the company going over the next 2–3 years?

Our focus now is cer­tain­ly grow­ing the aware­ness of the prob­lem (i.e. weak col­lar) and our unique solu­tion to give guys a per­fect shirt col­lar on every shirt. I am going on a major PR push in 2018, so it will be well known who we are and what we do. We want to build a real­ly strong installer net­work so any­one in the world can have access to upgrad­ing Mil­lion Dol­lar Col­lar with a sim­pler 1 step process. We have a cou­ple of depart­ment stores and big­ger brands we are talk­ing to, so that will be com­ing down the pipeline. Over­all, it is a very excit­ing time to be in busi­ness and we are lov­ing the chal­lenges that each day presents.


Interested in designing your own custom dress shirt with Million Dollar Collar?

Get started here!

 

 

 

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