Published on February 8th, 2020 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Buttercloth’s Danh Tran On “Shark Tank,” Making The Most Comfortable Dress Shirts & More
Billing itself as “the world’s most comfortable shirt,” Buttercloth was founded by Danh Tran, who grew up working in his family’s small tailor shop in Vietnam. By the age of ten, he was designing and sewing his own clothes, and dreaming of coming to America to become a fashion designer. Tran is proof that dreams really do come true, as in 1994, his family immigrated to California. He took fashion classes at a local college and landed a job at Mattel, designing clothes for Barbie. When he had saved enough money, he enrolled in his dream school, the Otis College Of Art & Design. After graduating he was recruited by 7 For All Mankind, then House Of Howe, and later Affliction Clothing.
Tran always hated wearing dress shirts, so he set out to make a dress shirt that felt like his favorite t-shirt. Using a special blend of 100-percent long fiber cotton and a unique manufacturing process, he developed a profoundly soft fabric he named Buttercloth. It has incredible breathability, six-way stretch and an exclusive double-finished construction that Tran says “makes you look like a Friday night, but feel like a Sunday morning.” He quit his job, sold his house, and cashed in his 401K to start the company. One of his first customers was former Los Angeles Lakers star Metta World Peace, who was so impressed that he invested in the company and serves as the brand’s ambassador to the sports and celebrity world. Buttercloth’s explosive growth online also caught the attention of ABC’s Shark Tank, and October 2018, milliomd of viewers watched Danh make a $250,000 deal with famed investor Robert Herjavec, who is continually helping to grow the Buttercloth brand worldwide.
I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Danh Tran on behalf of The Hype, as shown below. More on Tran and Buttercloth can be found online by visiting its website at www.buttercloth.com.
If at all, how did appearing on Shark Tank change your life?
Danh Tran: Before Shark Tank, we were just 4 people, operating out of a small garage but with a big dream. We were only shipping about 20 shirts a day, but our customers loved them and kept coming back for more, so we knew we had to get the message out. Thanks to Shark Tank and Robert, a year later we have an office, a warehouse, a team of 20, and we’re shipping hundreds of shirts a day. Needless to say, Shark Tank has been life-changing.
How would you describe Buttercloth to someone that hasn’t yet checked out the site?
Danh Tran: Buttercloth is truly the world’s most comfortable shirt. It feels like you’re wearing your favorite t-shirt, yet looks like a sophisticated casual dress shirt. It’s made of a revolutionary new fabric constructed from long fiber cotton, double-finished to make it super-soft on both sides, with 6-way stretch and breathability that keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It doesn’t end with comfort though. Our customers love what we call the “hidden detail” that makes people ask, “where did you get that shirt?” We say it makes you “look like a Friday night, but feel like a Sunday morning.”
What do you think makes Buttercloth different from other sites that make and/or sell dress-shirts?
Danh Tran: Our mission is to redefine men’s fashion by delivering comfort without sacrificing style. When a guy likes the way he looks and feels, he has more self-confidence — and that translates to more success.
Do you have a favorite item sold by Buttercloth?
Danh Tran: Every style is like a piece of candy to me — I love them all. I especially love styling our long sleeve shirts with our new Buttercloth sweaters. The combination is awesome.
What is coming up in 2020 for Buttercloth? Anything you can tell me about the brand’s upcoming plans?
Danh Tran: In 2020 we’re adding Henleys, Tees and Jackets, plus an exciting new technology in shirts this summer that actually cools your body. Wait until you touch it — it’s amazing.
If you hadn’t founded Buttercloth, any idea what you would be doing with your life?
Danh Tran: If I hadn’t started Buttercloth I’d still be designing fashion every day. I’m the luckiest guy in the world to enjoy what I do — it’s like playing all day and I actually get paid for it!
When not busy with Buttercloth, how do you like to spend your free time?
Danh Tran: Honestly Buttercloth is most of my life right now — it needs to be, especially during this rapid growth phase. I still go to the gym most days, and I get to spend a lot of time with my family since most of them are on our team!
What was the last concert you attended for fun?
Danh Tran: I saw Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull at Staples Center in L.A. Both of them are awesome entertainers, and I especially love Pitbull’s life story.
Finally, Danh, any last words for the kids?
Danh Tran: What’s your passion? Find it and go for it. Only if you’re truly passionate about it will you be willing to make the sacrifices and take the risks. Trust your gut feelings and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.Tweet