Behind the Bandits

Port City Brewing x Neon Bandits May 25, 2017 10:05

Many of you know Neon Bandits for our functional, comfortable and bold socks. But a little-known fact is that a large (and growing) part of our business comes from custom and collaborative socks. We have had the pleasure of working on a number of custom projects over the past few months. Some partners have done a custom colorway of an existing Neon Bandits design, while other partners have had us develop concepts from scratch.

We were excited when we first started talking with the Port City Brewing Company down in Virginia, and now with the final product in hand we could not be more proud of the final product. The sock that we collaborated on for PCBC is a modern take on an argyle sock and features two of the breweries prominent symbols, a pineapple (the symbol for hospitality) and a lighthouse. 

Known for their distinctive craft beers made only from top notch ingredients, this brewery has trophy-case full of awards (don’t believe us, just check out their site). And the only way you're going to get your feet on a pair of these socks is by visiting them. Go say hi, sip a brew and #grabapair at Port City Brewing. 

And stay tuned to the blog and our social channels to see some of the other custom projects that we are working on.  


Meet the New Additions April 14, 2017 12:10

The sun is (finally) out and signs of Spring are all around us-- baseball has started, the Boston Marathon is Monday and we've put away our winter boots... for the time being. But long before the weather took a positive turn, we started thinking about new styles for Spring. 

Earlier this week, we launched The Yardarm and The Monomoy, both named for the camp that Dan and I spent many summers growing up. Stay tuned for more of those stories... Yes, you'll notice their fresh designs and their bold colorways, but you should also notice that these two styles are available in two sizes! 

 

At Neon Bandits, we are listening and digesting your feedback. And size was something we were beginning to hear more often, as our consumer-base grew. Our newest styles are still offered in Neon Bandits original "one size" size, fitting men's shoe sizes 9-12, and are also now offered in a "medium" size, fitting men's shoe sizes 6-9. The latter size is perfect for tween, teen and many female feet. 

We're really excited about both-- the new socks AND the new size offering, and look forward to your feedback! 

We also can't wait to see where you take The Yardarm and The Monomoy this Spring and Summer, on all of your adventures. Be sure to tag your sock pics @neonbandits or use #grabapair so we can see how you sock it to 'um. 


Why being Knit-In Matters February 20, 2017 19:35

Before launching Neon Bandits in June of 2015, we spent over 18 months trying to find a factory partner that could produce the highest quality socks. We didn’t want just any socks to have our name on them; we wanted to make a quality sock that met (or exceeded) the durability and functionality of the largest brands in the space. And over the past year and a half, based on the feedback that we have received from customers, teams and partners, we have done just that.

A major point of differentiation (and one that us sock geeks love to boast about) between Neon Bandits and other socks, is that all of our socks feature knit-in design. When we create or develop a new style, or a custom design, we do just that—create and develop. All of our socks are built from the toe up via a process called circle stitching.

Points of difference

Having a sock that is knit-in means that everything from the yarn to the colors of the sock must be extremely well thought-out to translate into a design that is both functional and fun. Our designs compliment the structure of the sock. A couple of big perks of a knit-in sock? Knit-in socks maintain their structure and color—even with extreme wearing and washing.

The drawback? The development timeline of a knit-in sock is a bit more involved than a typical sock timeline, which does mean our lead-times for custom designs can run a little longer. The good news is that we’re always thinking ahead in terms of design and sampling, and continue to prioritize quality and customer satisfaction at the top of our list.

Thinking about a custom sock for your crew would be a great way to kick-off Spring and Summer? Us too!


The Bright Approach to Halloween October 16, 2016 20:38

Halloween is just two weeks away and if you’re anything like us, we’d bet you haven’t figured out your costume just yet. In an effort to help, here are five costume options where Neon Bandits will help you steal the show:

Halloween

  • Tom Cruise in Risky Business. All Scientology jokes aside, this costume is easy- peasy. Throw on an oversized dress shirt, fake Ray Bans and a pair of The Flip, and you have yourself a costume. 
  • A nerd. To pull of the nerd look, add some tape to your glasses, hike up your pants a little higher (held up at this height by suspenders, of course) and flash us The Ozz Mix under your pant leg.
  • Tourist. Though socks and sandals can be cool, to pull off this look, we would suggest a floral shirt, cargo shorts, The Ozz White with Birkenstocks and a fanny pack. And don’t forget to throw up the peace sign… all. night. long. 
  • American Ninja Warrior. Jon the Giant was caught wearing Neon Bandits during his American Ninja Warrior trial and final. To channel this look, all you need is a pair of gym shorts, a headband (let your hair rage) and a pair of The Loop! Cut-off tank optional. 
  • Richard Simmons. For this costume, really, anything goes. We would recommend patterned short shorts, a scoop neck tank top, a pair of The Buzz and all white tennis shoes. Be sure to stretch before going out in this costume, you’re likely to be prancing all night long.
Did you use this list as inspiration? Or have another costume that was accented by Neon Bandits? Send us your pictures (info@neonbandits.com) to be featured on our Instagram, @neonbandits.

The Freshest Pairings May 01, 2016 12:56

Just like pairing a fine wine with cheese, at Neon Bandits we like to pair fine socks with fresh kicks.  We stay on top of the latest and greatest sneaker releases, and are always thinking about how we can pair them up with Neon Bandits. In the spirit of summer being just around the corner, we’ve paired up Neon Bandits with some of the hottest new sneaker releases. You can thank us later…

Nike recently released the Air Presto Flyknit. We  could easily rattle off 20 adjectives to describe how awesome these are. Pair the Air Presto Flyknit with The 781 white and you will have just about every jaw dropping when you walk by. 

Nike Air Presto Flyknit

Sticking in the Nike Flyknit family, if you are looking for the classic 1980’s Andre Agassi look, pair up the NikeCourt Tennis Classic Ultra Flyknit with (the green) Flip. Fresh.

NikeCourt Tennis Classic Ultra Flyknit

If you are looking to stay a bit more conservative with your kick-game, we suggest pairing the “Triple White” Adidas Ultra Boost with The Loop. These two complement each other like John Stockton and Karl Malone. 

Adidas Ultra Boost

Have your favorite sneaker pairing with Neon Bandits? Send it along (with a picture) to info@neonbandits.com for a chance to be featured on our Instagram. 


One Step Ahead December 14, 2015 08:53

The winter is here. It is only a matter of time before the snow starts falling in our hometown of Boston, which will make it more difficult for us to be able to collect fun outdoor-centric content. As we detailed a few weeks back, we have our Spring line coming out in February so in an effort not to have models rocking shorts and socks in the snow, we rallied our friends to do a small photoshoot with our new designs before the weather changed.

After dialing up a perfect mid-fifties day in December, we hosted our photoshoot outside in the Fenway area of Boston. While we’re not going to reveal what the socks look like just yet, we have included a behind the scenes shot from our shoot (and if you look closely you can surely get a glimpse of the new designs!).

Behind the Scenes

One of the many challenges of running a lean operation is having to think far in advance. Not only do we need to focus on the here and now, and be scrappy where we can be, but we also need to be thinking into the future. If product is going to hit in February, we need to get the wheels in motion on a photoshoot, website updates, develop a marketing campaign, create a sales strategy, etc. months in advance to hit the deadline. Meanwhile, this is happening during our busiest time of the year—the holiday season!

Be sure to keep tabs on our blog; we’re excited to start to share details with you on our Spring 2016 line which will have you rushing to #GrabAPair (or two). And in the meantime, continue to share your pictures with us @NeonBandits and have a wonderful holiday season! 

 


Athleisure, it's Officially a Word November 28, 2015 15:24

The next time the national spelling bee comes around, the word “athleisure” is going to be front and center, as it has officially been added to the dictionary.

And what does that mean for Neon Bandits? Well, we officially have a word to point to in the dictionary to classify ourselves. As we have mentioned many times, we have built and designed Neon Bandits to be the perfect blend between a performance sock and a lifestyle sock; if you want all of the technical details of our socks check out the below diagram.

What Makes Neon Bandits Unique

In honor of “Athleisure” now officially be part of the dictionary, here are the top three reasons we are stoked this has happened:

  • It is now only a matter of time before sweatpants are acceptable for men to wear to work on a regular basis (heck- some dress sweatpants already exist… )
  • As a society, we will be able to conserve water because we will have to do less laundry by wearing the same clothes to work, and to workout.
  • You really have zero excuse not to #grabapair.

So, next year at the spelling bee, when someone asks to use “athleisure” in a sentence, you have this in your back pocket: “Neon Bandits is an athleisure sock brand that blends performance with lifestyle.”

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and #Grabapair. 


Neon Bandits 2.0 October 24, 2015 17:52

It’s official: the second line of Neon Bandits has been developed and ordered with the factory. You can expect to see our Spring 2016 line mid to late winter.

What’s different about our second line? While you will have to wait and see, we will tease you and say we have new designs and new colors coming in hot. Our new line includes 4 totally fresh, bold designs, in 2 color options each. Quality, functionality and fun are still paramount to all of our socks.  For our SS16 line, we were able to listen to customer feedback on what people liked and what they wanted to see changed.

As we developed the second line with our ever talented designers, we took a look around the marketplace. We did our trend research, to see where the sock world was veering, but, as always, we really pushed ourselves to be different than what was already out there.

We are excited to share subtle hints with you as to what our second line of socks will look like so be sure to stay tuned to our blog and social media channels! 


Behind the Scenes at the Boston College Photo-Shoot October 11, 2015 19:54

Neon Bandits is lucky to have some awesome campus reps, holding down campuses nationwide. This past week, we tapped into our Boston College campus rep, Osamase, to rally some of his friends and teammates (he's on the all-male step team, Sexual Chocolate) for a photo-shoot. 

 

Imagery is the basis for everything that we do, so having a database of content to pull from is imperative for us. We love when people send us their pictures of them wearing Neon Bandits (and we share them all the time!!), but sometimes, it's helpful to have our own internal database to pull from. Sammy typically leads the charge for photo-shoots, and starts by coordinating a photographer and drafting a shot-list, pictures that we know we want or need. From there, the shot-list grows to pictures that we would like to have and some more vague actions or ideas for shots. We often use Pinterest as an inspiration tool, because it's so visual, it's really great to use to get everyone aligned.

 

 

Once the shot-list is set, we have models and a photographer confirmed, we start to wrangle props and items we need so we're able to execute the shots. Things like signs, balls, chalk, accessories etc. are easy ways to make more "basic" pictures a little more loud, or vibrant. The Neon Bandit effect, as we like to call it, also gives us awesome artistic license to be a bit more outlandish then classic photography may allow. 

 

The goal of this photo-shoot? Well... we have something exciting brewing that we will announce at the end of the month. Stay-tuned via our blog and social (@NeonBandits) for that to happen, and for sneak peaks into the behind the scenes of the shoot!

The Sibling Startup October 03, 2015 18:27

We have now officially been live for four whole months, and get this: Dan and Sammy are still on speaking terms! Did anyone (but family members) really think that we still would be talking to each other?  

For those of you that didn’t know it, Sammy and I are brother and sister. Not only are Sammy and I siblings and business partners, but we are also (along with our older brother) best friends. In fact, even though I am a little more than three years older than Sammy, for the first time since we were little kids, at some recent meetings, we were mistaken for twins. While we are not twins, we are very similar and understand how we each think which is great (in some instances) but also means it’s incredibly easy to get under each other's skin, and get frustrated with one another.

During the first month that we were live, we argued a lot (about big things, and small things), which made it difficult to forget about Neon Bandits when we were together hanging outside of work (and for those of you that live in start-up world, you know that “work” is essentially anytime you are not sleeping). At family dinners, our parents often became referees for our arguments, texting conversations were all about socks and ideas. Friday afternoons, happy hour time, became war-room time—in more than one way.

While I can’t say that we have stopped yelling entirely, we quickly realized that while it is easy to yell at each other, ultimately it got and still gets us nowhere. While we thought we knew each other very well (heck we are siblings), we had not really worked this closely before. So now, we have tried our best to split up the workload so I have certain facets that I run, and Sammy has certain areas that she runs. Certainly, there is a lot of overlap (and still some toes stepped on) but we are making a concerted effort to divide and conquer.

Since we are able to work so closely together that people think that we’re twins, we are both excited about the future of the brand. We have been able to feed off one another and lay the foundation for a bright (no pun intended) future. 


The Triple Threat September 20, 2015 11:01

We have been busy talking to all sorts of consumers and retailers since we launched and every person that we tell about our socks- asks us “what type of sock is Neon Bandits?” As we said from the outset, we are an action lifestyle sock- but what exactly does that mean? We blend performance with lifestyle to create the ultimate bright and bold look that provides great function, style and versatility (a.k.a. the triple threat).

With the “athleisure” segment exploding, an apt comparison for Neon Bandits would be yoga pants for women. Yoga pants are designed and built to be worn while working out but also have the function, style and versatility to be worn outside of the gym. That’s what we are- we can be worn on the field, at the gym or while hanging out.

We built Neon Bandits with the active consumer in mind and wanted to deliver on a product that has more than one function. So be careful not to pigeonhole us as a “gym sock” or a “dress sock” or even a “lifestyle sock” because we can be classified as each of them- which is why we are the triple threat! 


Neon Bandits x Sneaker Shouts August 30, 2015 19:32

If you are going to wear a pair of Neon Bandits the right way, you need to make sure that they are matching your kicks. It is for this reason that we recently teamed up with the sneaker experts at Sneaker Shouts to do a photoshoot collaboration with them.

We wanted to highlight a limited edition drop that would be ideally suited to be rocked with Neon Bandits. We decided to go with the recently released collaboration between Japanese fashion label WHIZ Limited, sneaker boutique mita and Asics.

The Asics sneaker which is a version of the GEL-Lyte V is named “Recognize,” and was created in honor of WHIZ Limited’s 15th anniversary celebration. The comfort of the GEL-Lyte technology paired with the reinforced heel and toe of a Neon Bandit sock will feel as if you are walking on a pillow. In addition to the comfort of the shoe and sock combo, the neon accents of the shoe pair perfectly with both The Dawson and The Flip.

Be sure to follow our friends at Sneaker Shouts to stay up to date on the latest and greatest sneaker releases. Tag your Neon Bandits sock/ sneaker match-ups using #NeonBandits #SneakerShouts.