Before Dee Murthy and Andres Izquieta even graduated from college they founded the Five Four Clothing brand. And before they began to sell online, they spent a few years hitting up trade shows, traveling the country, and finally in 2006 got into major fashion retailers.
Then the 2008 recession hit.
Dee and Andres found themselves sitting on mounds of unsold merchandise. Knowing menswear was scarce in malls, they took a risk and opened a few stores, but discovered it’s a tough ride without a brand story and no foot traffic. So in 2012 they gave the ecommerce business a shot and moved to sell online. They created Menlo Club, now an umbrella company operating direct-to-consumer brands including Five Four, Oshenta, and Grand AC, each taking on a different facet of men’s fashion.
Now exclusively an online seller, and operating primarily with a DTC subscription model, the team added shoes to the roster with New Republic. Dee says, “The most comfortable shoes in the world, in our opinion, are ugly. And the most stylish shoes in the world are uncomfortable. So we have this thesis that bridging those together can really make us a powerhouse in men’s footwear.”