Defunker launches Matt 04 May 2005

23 comments Latest by new

holdupThe Connected Ventures empire (which includes College Humor and Busted Tees) expands with the recent launch of a new t-shirt site called Defunker.

“We exist because there are many brilliant designers who make great t-shirts and go unnoticed,” says the site. “We thought it would be neat to help these guys out and bring affordable, good-looking clothing to all.” And the site even features Jason Kottke as one of the models. Look at him rock his own version of Blue Steel and Le Tigra…hot!

There’s more on CV and the success of other online t-shirt businesses in today’s Wall Street Journal: By Accident or Design, Selling T-Shirts Is Big Business on Web.

23 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Anonymous Coward 04 May 05

Can anyone say Threadless rip-off? Down to the stock chart and design “spirit” too.

Adam Michela 04 May 05

I wouldn’t call it a Threadless ripoff since it’s exactly the same as their Busted Tee’s site.

Dan Boland 04 May 05

It doesn’t surprise me at all that T-shirts are such a big business online. And in a roundabout sort of way, it’s an effect of the grunge movement of the early to mid 90s. Here’s my reasoning:

1) Back then, it was cool to look like shit. This involved going to the thrift store to buy shitty clothes. This included shitty T-shirts. (Can you tell I’m speaking from experience?)

2) Grunge died (well, sort of… the fact that Creed sold even a dozen records is an indication that people still wanted music like that… but that’s a different rant). But the shitty T-shirt fad lived on, and continues to.

3) I can remember making my own T-shirts with magic markers on undershirts. The Internet, being the most populist medium we’ve ever seen, is a perfect place to sell your ideas on a shirt. You have your vendor base.

4) Those same teenagers who bought shitty T-shirts at the thrift store are now at least in their mid-20s, have credit cards and computers, and are generally computer-savvy. You have your customer base.

5) People like the uniqueness of T-shirts. And with thousands of vendors, you’re virtually guaranteed to find a random shirt.

Keep in mind that I haven’t done any research, so I’m sure another armchair sociologist could rip this apart.

Threadless 04 May 05

It’s not a rip-off - they bought the tees from us wholesale.

Ruy 04 May 05

Well now I feel silly.

Ruy 04 May 05

But perhaps someone could humor me and explain why this site exists?

“We exist because there are many brilliant designers who make great t-shirts and go unnoticed,� ”

… see, I know this isn’t it.

Is it just a PR thing ?

I’m not raging against any machines - I’m genuinely curious.

Adam Michela 04 May 05

Re: Simon; Curious timing eh?

Jesse Kochis 04 May 05

Ok so it may not be a Threadless rip-off, but it’s still a rip-off. Why pay $20 when I can pay $15? $10 if I’m lucky.

I thought we were wearing flannel and thermals during the grunge days�man I was so out of it.

Tony 04 May 05

What percentage of news stories would you assume came from leads generated from press releases? Why do you think that press releases are created and distributed?

Sheesh! Everyone is so negative today!

Jakob @ CV 04 May 05

There are no PR firms associated with Connected Ventures, unless PR stands for “Purple Raincoats”.

Charm City Rainwear is a Baltimore-based outerwear firm that specializes in water-resistant apparel in various hues of purple. They advertise on and (honestly) produce some of the best raincoats that are purple that we have ever seen.

Adam Michela 04 May 05

Sooo… then… are you backed by Amazon? Just answer the question! Heh ;)

Dominic 04 May 05

The CV dudes rule. Simple as that. They’re super nice dudes, amazingly talented, and the create sites and products that rock.

Brian Breslin 04 May 05

This is another neat site. No need to “hate” on these guys, they seem to make a lot of money doing this (according to the Esquire or New Yorker piece last year, and WSJ this morning). Props to them, I wish I was pulling in 400k a month, 200+ is from selling tshirts.

So Jakob, How do you guys handle distribution of so many friggin shirts? This must be a pretty sizeable enterprise at this point.

btw, Dan I think you might be right about alot of these things. That and the fact that $20 doesn’t buy as much anymore, so a tshirt is almost an impulse buy. aaah, inflation.

Adam Codega 04 May 05

A&F is a rip off of Gap? Wal-Mart is a rip off of K-Mart? Chevrolet is a rip off of Ford? Or vice versa? And why are smart devices like stock charts not worth repeating elsewhere…

Adam Codega 04 May 05

Sorry to double post but I think this is relevant.

“Defunker buys directly from the artists, who most often screenprint themselves on several different types of shirts including American Apparel, Gildan, Anvil, Hanes and several others. These shirts vary in cost and the retail price reflects this.”

Do artists get shirts back that Threadless can’t sell? Some designs match older Threadless ones.

bob 20 May 05


john 20 May 05

There are so many t-shirt “designers” these days and so many crappy designs that wearing a plain blank t-shirt is the most original thing. I wouldnt be caught dead in a whored-out tee sporting some asinine, abtract design by a poser designer.

new 13 Nov 05

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