Worn Out Wednesday – Need’s Matt Alexander
Today we speak to the Founder and CEO of NEED, Matt Alexander:
I was born and raised in London, England to an American mother and English father.
They were (and still are) spectacularly inept with technology, so I grew up mostly without computers, video games, and television until I was about 10 or 11.
Within a few months of receiving our first computer, I was already dabbling with building websites and trying new ideas online.
All of these ideas and experiments were universally awful until I started a small website — what you’d call a blog now — devoted to independent technology and development.
I wrote the site under a pseudonym and, after a year or two, it grew to have a readership of over 1.5 million people per month, whilst also sustaining a small editorial staff.
I shut it down rather unceremoniously in my mid-teens and, after finishing up my exams, moved to Dallas, Texas for university. I’d grown tired of living in the same area with the same friends and yearned for a challenge. (With no disrespect to those friends or the area. They’re still very important to me!)
After university, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with myself. I had a degree in English Literature, but didn’t want to study law.
So, I went to work at Southwest Airlines. And, whilst there, grew tired of being stigmatized for being a student of English Literature.
I decided to write my way into relevancy and started the spiritual successor to the site I’d run when I was younger. Within a year I had amassed a growing audience, launched a podcast, and left my corporate job to help others fulfill their ideas and raise capital.
Soon thereafter, I had an idea of my own and raised initial capital to build Need, a curated retailer for men.
Since then, we’ve amassed almost 500,000 members at Need, whilst raising roughly $1.3 million in investment capital.
We’ve also launched Foremost, our own line of affordable, American-made clothing for men and women.
Both have been listed in the top e-commerce services online, whilst they’ve also been recognized for the contributions to media as publications (Need) and media outlets (Foremost).
Outside of these two companies, I serve on a few boards and have co-founded a communal pop-up experiment called Unbranded, which provides free retail and event-space for young designers and artists during the holiday season.
As for my personal style:
Jeans: Nudie Grim Tim in raw indigo.
Shirts: I’ve started to wear a lot of Taylor Stitch shirts. They’re comfortable and extremely well made.
Pants: If you count joggers, I wear ZANEROBE’s Sureshots (in mid-blue) a lot. If you don’t, I don’t wear anything non-denim much, aside from when I’m wearing a suit.
Suits: I have several custom suits and tuxedos from André Phillipe, a phenomenal local clothier.
Outerwear: I have a Filson Weekender jacket which I wear religiously, from our first Need collection , a grey wool jacket from the Jiberish x Woolrich capsule, and the Realm & Empire Artisan jacket from Need.
Favorite Cologne: Chanel Allure Sport.
Favorite piece of technology: I recently bought the iPhone 6s Plus. I was concerned it’d be enormous, but it’s ended up being perfect. The battery life is longer than you’d expect and the larger screen is beautiful.
Next tech purchase: I’m tempted by an iPad Pro for travel. I have one of the new 12-inch MacBooks, but it feels underpowered compared to my Mac. I think the iPad Pro might finally be enough for a work laptop for me.