Plenty of underwear companies are offering bamboo or other eco materials these days, but not many of them are doing it in such style and comfort as Soleone. (You can pronounce it either [sol.WUN] or [so.le.OWN]. Romaeo Jahroudi and Naz Bahyani are the brains behind this new and quickly expanding operation; we caught up with Jahroudi to ask him what Soleone is all about. Take a look at Soleone’s men’s offerings and the read the interview below!
Underwear Expert: Why did you decide to use bamboo for your underwear?
Romaeo Jahroudi: I found bamboo on a sourcing trip a few years ago, and after testing it out I found it to have some amazing qualities. I really enjoyed how it felt on the skin, how it wicked moisture to keep you dry, regulated temperature and even seemed to have some anti odor qualities to it.
Underwear Expert: Who are you making the underwear for?
Romaeo Jahroudi: We are making these underwear for anyone who can appreciate the luxury basics concept, and would rather have a softer, silkier fabric caressing their private parts. We just realized there is a whole demographic of men out there who are still wearing the same Calvin Klein underwear (styles) from 15 years ago. And we would like to give them another option as we know men have many fewer choices than women with clothing brands overall.
Underwear Expert: Why should guys buy your brand over other eco-friendly brands?
Romaeo Jahroudi: Our styles are primarily geared toward style, comfort and function. The eco-friendly aspects are just added benefits. We believe in the win, win, win scenarios of life.
Underwear Expert: What is the best feature that your underwear has to offer?
Romaeo Jahroudi: I would say it is the fit and feeling of the fabric on your skin. We have gone to extensive testing and sampling to make sure the elastic tensions are just right on the waistbands, so you barely feel like you are wearing anything. And they really last a long time, so you see the value once you own a pair.
Underwear Expert: Where has it been the most popular?
Romaeo Jahroudi: We have just tested the market through friends and family and in Vancouver, Canada in a few key men’s accounts like Boys’co on Robson street and Brooklyn on Davie St. Both are staple men’s stores selling top brands, and both have done quite well. Also our online sales have been decent, considering we have not done any major campaigns yet. Now we are ready to scale up and build our distribution chains across North America, UK and Europe over the next 18 – 24 months.
Underwear Expert: How did you decide to get into making underwear?
Romaeo Jahroudi: I had created and started up another women’s underwear line and had some background experience in sourcing, manufacturing and design. But the main concept with Soleone is not just underwear, it is luxury basics in bamboo fabric. Our tops, especially our v-necks, and hoodies as well as some of the women’s items have been some of our best selling and hottest items.
Underwear Expert: What were you doing before that?
Romaeo Jahroudi: I was involved with another startup brand that never got its legs properly, and I ended up selling my stake in that. And I am also a writer. I have two feature length epic movie scripts that are in the pipeline right now. One fantasy adventure and one science fiction piece. I am an idea guy!
Underwear Expert: When did you know that this was what you were going to be doing with yourself?
Romaeo Jahroudi: I knew I wanted to build brands and lifestyle concepts for a long time now. It was a matter of finding the right product line and timing. But personally I am more excited to get to the marketing, media and advertising of this brand. To create some nice photo campaigns as well as videos and events with a portion of proceeds going to good causes. We have some grand ideas, so stay tuned.
Underwear Expert: What’s the best part about running an underwear brand?
Romaeo Jahroudi: We don’t really see ourselves as just an underwear brand. But it is seeing people’s reaction when they feel and touch the bamboo fabric. And especially when they have worn it for a while and then come back to buy seven or eight more pairs, because they want to have a pair for everyday and don’t want to have to reach for their old cotton undies when their bamboo pair is in the laundry bin. That is a good feeling knowing you have improved someone’s day just a little bit.