From: CBS News
There is a revolution afoot, one that is deep in the soul of men's fashion - a revolution in socks.
That's in part because socks are the fastest growing segment of men's fashion these days - a multi-billion dollar business that's encouraging guys to wade knee-deep, calf-deep, or ankle-deep into style, reports CBS News contributor Jamie Wax.
"Socks are a really easy fix to kind of spice up your wardrobe," said Brad Goreski of E!'s "Fashion Police." Goreski is pleased with the sartorial statement he's seeing, but said it surprised him.
"In terms of this trend specifically, it's kind of like the gateway drug to men's fashion," Goreski said. "Anything I think that gives guys the courage to want to be more daring in their fashion choices, I think that's a really cool thing."
One man driving the sock revolution is the always-dapper Dwyane Wade. The 11-time All Star has his own line of fashion socks that he helps design.
"This is an accessory for a man that we can have a cool moment underneath our pants or you know on our feet. We feel a little extra about our outfit that day," Wade said. "It's a cheaper expression as well, and you're about to spend you know, 14, 15 dollars on socks. Different from a watch - watches are a lot more expensive."
Wade's socks are created for the California-based company, Stance, which John Wilson helped found after surveying the bland landscape below men's knees.
"The category itself was just - it was asleep," Wilson said. "White and some black - white and black space together."
Stance filled that white space with bold colors and patterns. They made mismatched pairs a marketing tool, and went for "fun" and "quirky." They just introduced a line for those looking to step into a galaxy far, far away.
Then, there is basketball. On the court where shoes have always been king, Stance wants fans to see beyond - or underneath - the sneaker.
As of this season, Stance is the official sock supplier to the NBA. Although the details of the multi-year agreement aren't public, Stance will have its logo on all the shins in basketball.
Wilson said the NBA endorsement deal has been a "huge contributor" to the growth of the company.
"It's a good chunk of our overall revenue. And that's the kind of deal you want to put together," Wilson said.
Now, entrepreneurs are dipping their toes in the more than $5.5 billion business.
"I think not a lot of people wake up on a certain morning and say, 'I'm going to refresh my whole sock drawer,'" said Phil Moldavski, one of the co-founders of E-tail company, Nice Laundry.
But Moldvaski and his co-founder Ricky Choi hope to refresh whole sock collections by only selling socks in bundles. Designs range from the subtle to the loud, and they urge customers to dabble in them all.
"For us, it never really made a whole lot of sense to go and buy socks one-by-one, because you go through at least five or six pairs in a week. So we bundle them, and we sell them to customers," Moldavski said.
Naturally, there is a holdout - not everyone has gotten the "wear your fancy socks" memo, which begs the question of whether this is an actual trend.
"Well I hope so!" Wade said. "I mean one thing about fashion is things come and go and you know you rather wear what you can on certain things and some things will surprise you when they stay around for a long time."