Ministry of Supply
By Erin Lovett
Ministry of Supply, a revolution in men’s fashion, is currently dominating the office wear market. Founded in 2010 by four MIT graduates, Ministry of Supply is an innovative company seeking to change the world of business attire. The company is known for creating high-tech products: men’s dress shirts, dress pants, and basic T-shirts that regulate body temperature and understand the way the human body moves. The desire to create a line of business clothing that mirrors active wear inspired the development of the Apollo dress shirt.
The inventive Apollo is effective in wicking moisture away from the body and is equipped with NASA heat-regulation technology. “We work with a number of different partners that help bring our visions to life…we can conceptualize things, we can think through things, we can plan things, we can draw things, we can build things, but we’re not actually a mill ourselves,” said cofounder of Ministry of Supply Aman Advani.
The Apollo dress shirt was designed to give the everyday businessman an escape from uncomfortable dress shirts that typically cause the male body to visibly sweat. “My inspiration was just the sheer discomfort of wearing this stuff [dress shirts] day in and day out,” said Advani regarding typical office wear.
There is a huge demand for unique products like the Apollo dress shirt by businessmen looking to be comfortable yet professional without having to worry about body odor or sweat. The new technology will surely impact fashion by “creating a new category of clothing called performance professional,” said Advani. This idea of performance professional office wear is unique to Ministry of Supply and has already made a huge impact in men’s fashion. The ingenious patent-pending fabrics used in the Apollo dress shirt allow the company to claim performance professional attire as their own.
Although the company has become very successful, Advani spoke of the challenges of finding the right production partners. It was difficult to find factory machines that would produce business clothing with unusual materials. The Apollo was troublesome to manufacture due to the technology required to make the shirt from 100% synthetic polyester infused with phase-changing material. Despite the challenges, Ministry of Supply cofounders were finally able to find the right manufacturers.
At the moment, Ministry of Supply focuses strictly on menswear and does not plan to expand its target market to businesswomen any time soon. If it were to create a line of clothes for businesswomen, “a lot of the same principles would work,” said Advani of the technology. Advani reported that Ministry of Supply does not plan to create a line of clothing for women because “we really think we can understand how men think, how men dress…we see the trends happening in menswear and we don’t consider ourselves experts on the same thing for women; it’s a different mindset.”
Although they do not plan to create clothes for women in the near future, Ministry of Supply plans to offer a new line of slightly more professional clothes with a shirt that “is a little bit more crisp and a little bit more structured in fabric.” This new line of performance professional clothing will further revolutionize the world of business wear.
The future for Ministry of Supply looks bright; Advani stated, “We want to continue growing at the same pace we have been to date.” At the moment, Ministry of Supply products are only available online. Along with selling their products on their website, Ministry of Supply is also selling on the online, personalized, retail website Birchbox. The company is still debating what would be best for their product and their customers, whether it would be opening up their own retail store or selling their products at wholesalers. Despite the obstacles and challenges, the creation of the Apollo dress shirt, the dress pants, and the core undershirt has profoundly revolutionized the office wear market. The future of fashion is all about technology. Performance professional not only stands for technology; it represents fashion.
Ministry of Supply