Youth radicalism is tearing everything deemed a classic into shreds. Nonetheless, it bestowed immortality on men’s hosiery. The generation of revolutionaries retained the socks basic silhouette, while drastically altering everything else with modified fabrications, technical advancements and odor free qualities. Today, the sock is an icon, virtually indestructible and versatile enough to survive the storm of modern times.
The right men’s hosiery can confer timeless elegance on a man’s wardrobe. If a person’s style can be intuited from details, the socks are definitely an indicator. From intimate occasions relegated to the night or separate ones that occur at the office could grant every man freedom to treat socks in a rudimentary, or better yet, a slovenly way. A stylish man however, puts as much care into these items as he does into his entire wardrobe. I speak in the plural because in addition to men’s hosiery there is at least two other articles of a wardrobe that demands to be discussed here. Trousers and footwear. Many men are unaware of the rules of men’s fashion. For example, a man’s sock is to match his trouser not his shoe. Therefore, when you are wearing a grey suit to work and a black shoe, be mindful to wear a great sock and not a black one.
Modified thinking can be divided into analysis and forecasting Analysis is what is happening in the marketplace currently and forecasting Analysis is what is happening in the market place currently, and forecasting is what is predicted will happen in menswear in the future. Whew!
In short, forecasting is quite often based on an educated hunch and by studying the market segmentation in mind. It is important to carry out systematic research and utilize predictive models rather than by just observing what is happening at the consumer base. It is important to consider everything from societal change to early signals in fashion.
Product advancements and trends often arise in a general way that can then develop into a menswear specific trend. For example, forecasting can monitor global youth movements and cultures, advising about how this will influence the consumer of tomorrow. Just the other day, I delved into a men’s sock brand that has developed advancements in men’s hosiery by aiming to understand the male customer. One of the most important parts of the methodology involves translating it into contemporary practical language for the menswear consumer. This brands exploration of these theories includes examples of how to illustrate how they can be applies to the current men’s hosiery market segmentation. You can judge a man by his socks. Small socks can say a lot about a person. A good fiber makes a great sock. Merino wool is the mirocle fiber and the natural pick for quality, durability, warmth, softness, and style.
I recently had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Owen Zhang Founder of MP Magic Merino about what his competitive advantage is in the men’s hosiery market, what he believes men seeking today in socks and how he is addressing these concerns and how technology aided him in the development of their industry-leading technique!
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about the history; launch date and DNA of Magic Merino?
Dr. Owen Zhang: MP Magic Merino Wool Socks is a sub-brand and latest product from MP Magic socks. We just launched Magic Merino Wool Socks in September 2019. MP Magic socks is a sock company, very famous with its special yarn technique to remove feet odor. The DNA of MP Magic Socks is pursuing the best technique and applying it on sock development. If the MP Magic socks foundation date is the first milestone of our company, MP Magic Merino Wool socks launch will be the second milestone of our company. In other words, the DNA of MP Merino Wool Socks is high tech meeting comfort!
The MP Merino Wool is totally different from all other regular merino wool in the current market. You know, merino wool is one of the most comfortable fibers, a gift from nature. However, users must take very care with merino wool socks, it is very easy to shrink or damaged. Our special Merino Wool yarn is total easy care. You can even machine-wash them. We keep all merino wool good features, but increase their durability. We achieved all these and still keep our yarn with 82% merino wool, compared with many other so called merino wool socks but only containing less than 50% merino wool.
About me, my name is Owen Zhang. I got my BS from Tsinghua University in Beijing, and attended University of Minnesota at twin cities in 2009, pursuing my PhD degree. Luckily, I got my PhD degree in 2014, thesis on semiconductor material research. Part of my socks is relative to my research background, using some semiconductor technology. In 2015, I gave myself a leave, and traveled around in US. Then I started researching and making MP Magic socks prototype, from late 2015. In 2016, I founded MP Magic Socks brand, and working with my cofounder Hughes Hou. In 2019, I lead my team to break through the technique of Merino wool, and launch the very special MP Merino wool socks.
Joseph DeAcetis: In your words, what is your competitive advantage in the men’s hosiery market?
Dr. Owen Zhang: MP Merino Wool socks have three major competitive advantages in the men’s hosiery market. First of all, we have our own industry-leading technique. I am a PhD in semiconductor technology. The yarn of our socks has some very advanced technique in semiconductor industry. We use unique plasma treatment process with merino wool, making the merino wool much more durable. Now we have more technical guys in our team to invent more fancy and cool sock techs. I believe there are very few sock company’s hires engineers and PhDs to do this. There are 3 PhD, 2 master researchers in our R&D department, and still growing.
Second, we have super good supplies. We get our merino wool from Australia, and work with German factory to make the merino wool yarn, and we also have material supply partnership in Japan. We can use the best yarn and the best-knit technology to create the best socks. I personally believe we redefine what Merino wool socks should be. Say goodbye to frustrating caring process of your merino wool socks!
Third, we have nice design. I cannot say how good our designers are. But all of them are from very good design college in US, and what’s more, we ask for design ideas from our users, backers. We even have a slogan: you design MP socks we make them for you. MP Merino wool socks are designed based on many requests from our previous users. We believe it’s the best one!
Joseph DeAcetis: Who is your demographic and why?
Dr. Owen Zhang: Most of our customers are men ago from 25 to 60, high education level. We have analyzed the data. These people are more likely to take outdoor sport event and prefer to purchase Merino wool socks. That’s how we design our merino wool socks.
Joseph DeAcetis: How do you intend to market to Millennial’s and Gen Z with advertising dollars?
Dr. Owen Zhang: Merino wool socks are perfect for outdoor sport events like hiking, skiing etc. Especially the winter and holiday season are coming. Our MP merino wool socks are for traveling and outdoors, perfect for Millennial’s and Gen Z. Young people loves outdoors, sports and travel, and to be honest, they sweat more. That’s exactly what our socks aim to solve the problems. I found we just fill in the market to Millennial’s and Gen Z
Joseph DeAcetis: In your words, what are men seeking today in socks and how are you addressing these concerns?
Dr. Owen Zhang: In fact, men are seeking more and more today. Comfort will be the first factor, then they want a good design, the design is not only the outlook, but also the functional design. That’s why we took more than one year to research and develop this Merino wool socks. The MP Merino yarn can offer extreme comfort to our users. Then we make the special design to make the socks well looking and functional.
Joseph DeAcetis: Can you elaborate on the modified approach to the collection and why you developed the collection with modernity in mind?
Dr. Owen Zhang: Merino wool socks are not new. Many sock companies are selling this type of socks. They are super comfortable, temperature regulation, antibacterial etc. Merino wool is a gift from nature. However, there are two issues existing: 1, merino wool yarn is not durable, they need to treat carefully. 2, they are not cheap. Many marketing available merino socks contains less than 50% merino wool, or they are super expensive.
To solve these two issues about merino wool socks, we developed this collection. First, we use special technique (plasma treatment under no oxygen condition) to enhance the durability. Our merino socks can even be machine washable, no shrinkage. Second, we optimized our fabrication processes and offer 82% merino wool, definitely top in the market. But we still keep our price at very reasonable level compared with other merino wool socks.
Joseph DeAcetis: What are some of the fabrications you are using and why?
Dr. Owen Zhang: We have very unique two processes during our Merino sock fabrication. 1, special treatment to the merino wool. Regular treatment is in oxygen condition, and the wool fiber is not strong. We use plasma to treat the merino wool under no oxygen condition, turns out the wool fiber is very durable. Two benefits: the much better durability and the dye color will not fade.
2, we treated the sheep very well to get the wools. This is a very crucial point that we pay extra attention to when we chose our wool source supplier in Australia. We make sure that the welfare of the sheep comes first before everything and they are well treated and non-mulesed.
Joseph DeAcetis:Talk to Forbes in detail about the current collection and why it is important for consumers to understand how the is a fresh idea?
Dr. Owen Zhang: If a customer has tried merino wool socks, he/she cannot enjoy any other socks. The comfort of merino wool is unbeatable. However, it is really headache to take care of merino wool socks. You cannot machine wash them. You need store them carefully. Our new merino collection is total easy care. Just treat them as regular socks, no extra care. That will enhance the using experience a lot.
Joseph DeAcetis: If you could choose one celebrity to wear your brand, who would it be and why?
Dr. Owen Zhang: I will choose Dario Cologna, the 4-time winter Olympic champions. He will be perfect for MP merino wool socks. He is cross-country skier, and this sport definitely needs a good pair of Merino wool socks.
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about how technology aided you in the development of your brand both product make-up and e-commerce?
Dr. Owen Zhang: From my previous question answers, you can see I am a tech guy. I run my company and my marketing based on all kinds of technology. Technology is very important, that’s why I prefer call myself Dr. I used the frontier material technology to develop and improve our socks. But how can make socks comfort but thin? How can make socks breathable but water resistance? How can make socks dry fast but absorb sweat fast too? All these requirements seem are not able to achieve at the same time, but with new technology, all that has changed. That’s the beautiful point of technology.
To discuss further, normal sock companies may just seek for new yarns, check the specs, and then knit. But that’s not for us. We will analyze the yarn components, and bring up our new ideas of components. Thanks to our great supplies, their labs will do experience for us. Sometimes our R&D team even works with them together. Because we have material PhDs and masters. That’s why we can claim many great features, and be confident to send out for all kinds of reviews and tests. If you check out our latest premium crowd funding campaign comment section, almost all good feedback from our previous backers.
We also use statistic technology to do our marketing. That is the DNA of our team. We trust data, experiments etc. When we spend ads, we will use a lot of data analysis technique to make a better results.
Joseph DeAcetis: What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
Dr. Owen Zhang: Since we are still a start-up, I will be involved in almost everything in my company. I have a lot of good members in our team; I do not need to do detail things. Most of time, I need to the final decision.
Joseph DeAcetis: Where is the product made and why?
Dr. Owen Zhang: Our merino wool is from Australia, and the MP merino wool yarn is made from German factory. The fabrication of socks is in China. The best merino wool can only be found in Australia, and our special treatment to merino wool can only be done in German factory. Sock fabrication in China can decrease the cost a lot.
Joseph DeAcetis: You have the floor: Talk to my viewers about why they should try this brand now. – What is unique about it?
✅Merino Wool, Gift From Nature
As a premium fiber, merino wool naturally resists odor and manages moisture, keeping your feet dry and fresh in all seasons. It makes every outdoor enthusiast’s dream comes true — warm in the cold, cool in the heat.
✅Push Softness To The Extreme
82% of merino wool, highest wool content in the socks market, blends with MP special yarn, creating a perfect balance of durability and comfort that you’ll ever find in socks.
60 Nm/1*2 , the manufacturing process we use can maximize the strength of the yarn, making the socks more durable, and at the same time, more comfortable.
✅Total Easy Care
We apply Naturetexx® Plasma technology to make sure our merino wool socks are machine washable. Meanwhile, they will not shrink or felt under regular cold wash.
No need to pay extra attention to your merino wool socks anymore.
We want you to wear our socks with confidence and trust.
Our yarns are up to different standards and under widely recognized certificates, proving the safety and quality of MP Merino Wool products, so you can wear them freely without any concern.
We pursue ethical sourcing and sustainable development as our determined goals.
To start with, we make sure the sheep are non-mulesed and away from any other harm. We also seek for sustainability by using renewable and biodegradable materials to protect the environment as much as we can.
✅20, 000 Miles For You
We only deliver the best you deserve.
With merino wool from Australia, yarn customization and production in Germany, plus MP special yarn, what you received is more than just a pair of normal socks.
Joseph DeAcetis: What are you future projections and growth strategy for the next few years?
Dr. Owen Zhang: For long-term aim, I want to make MP Maig Socks the NO. 1 brank in socks market. Our annual growth rate is over 1000%. We created new products every 2 months, and I plan to release new socks every month in 2020, and every week in 2021. We will cover all kinds of socks whether you know or not. Finally, when people want to buy a pair of socks, he can directly go to our website, there will be always one pair of perfect socks fit him