Men’s socks step out in quirky colours

Chitra Narayanan | Updated on December 28, 2020

Funky step: Men’s socks from SockSoho, a Chandigarh-based online fashion tech brand

When tech meets fashion, it can knock your socks off

Socks are, quite simply, underwear you are allowed to show, declares Satbir Singh, founder Thinkstr, outrageously. “Unfortunately, the filter men use while selecting their underwear and socks is called boring,” says the nattily dressed adman.

Singh, who sports audacious fluorescent socks, feels whites belong only to Wimbledon.

There are others who think like Singh. BARC India CEO Sunil Lulla is well known as an executive who wears funky socks. “I have worn yellow and pink socks,” says Lulla, whose feet accessory is anything but discreet. But mostly his quest for quirky has been met by stores abroad.

Pritika Mehta, co-founder of SockSoho


That’s the gap that young Chandigarh-based fashion tech brand SockSoho wants to address. Set up by Pritika Mehta, a data scientist who had worked in companies like TripAdvisor, and Simarpreet Singh, a computer science graduate with a passion for growth marketing, it wants to change the socks mindset of Indian men with brightly coloured trendy offerings, backed by data science and technology.

Simarpreet Singh, co-founder of SockSoho


This Christmas, for instance, the online brand launched red-and-white socks in Santa’s favourite colours and multicoloured socks with large reindeer motifs that most men would baulk at wearing. But Simarpreet Singh says orders have been ringing in for their festive edition. Of course, they do have classic and timeless designs like small white polkas on black or purple.

SockSoho is surprisingly one of the brands that did very well in the pandemic year. “We have been growing 10X month-on-month since opening post the lockdown in May. This month we grew 30 per cent over last month,” declares Singh ebulliently.

It would seem counter-intuitive for socks as a category to grow during the pandemic when most people would be wearing slippers rather than shoes and socks. “But socks are a great gift item for men,” shoots back Singh, describing how their gift boxes are doing well. The brand has also been open to customisation from day one. “If you want a chocolate or a flower, or a card added in the gift box, we would put it in. If you wanted delivery in a day, we would try to meet it,” he says.

Covid-19 presented an opportunity for young start-ups like SockSoho, says Singh. “With people switching to ecommerce, and browsing more online, discovery of a brand like ours became possible. Also digital advertising rates came down, so we could afford to do campaigns.”

The first fashion brand from India to get backing from American seed investor Y-combinator, SockSoho has recommendation engines similar to those on Netflix and Amazon. It pushes out new designs in small batches, gauges reactions and scales those that get large orders. For instance, says Singh, ten design versions of the reindeer socks were put out and, based on how people were ordering, they figured which would sell most and stuck to that design.

Future plans include expanding into women’s and kids’ socks. “Our goal is that when people think of socks they think of our brand. We want to deep-dive into the category,” declares Singh.

With celebs and CEOs — actor Vicky Kaushal and Lenskart’s founder Amit Chaudhary — numbering among users, and the socks now finding a base among Silicon Valley techies (it ships overseas), Singh is confident the brand can knock your socks off!

Published on December 27, 2020

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