In this episode I interview Joshua Katcher from Brave GentleMan, a disruptive vegan menswear label in New York.
Joshua previously worked in creative media, including roles as director, editor, producer and director of photography for PBS and MTV.
In 2008 he discovered an appreciation for fashion and launched men’s lifestyle website The Discerning Brute, which focused on “fashion, food and etiquette for the ethically handsome man”.
The blog quickly established Joshua as a pioneer in the field of ethical, sustainable fashion and two years later in 2010 he launched the Brave GentleMan label and online store.
Brave GentleMan fuses future-textiles with centuries-old production methodology. Utilizing what he calls “future suede”, “future leather” and “future wool”, which are superior to animal-fibers, Joshua has created a high-end, sustainable and ethically-made Men’s Collection.
The company offers luxury New York made suiting, premium footwear produced in Portugal and hats made in Los Angeles, along with accessories made in New York’s Historic Garment Center and Gloversville.
Joshua’s groundbreaking work has been featured in several high-profile media outlets, including Oprah.com and most recently Paper magazine which referred to Brave GentleMan as having “just about everything a mindful fashionisto could want”.
As well as running his business, Joshua is also an adjunct professor of fashion at Parsons The New School. His research focuses on sustainability and ethics in fashion and he’ll soon be releasing a book on the topic.
In this interview Joshua discusses:
• The key things you must have and do to create a successful business, despite having no previous experience in a particular industry
• The challenges involved in opening a physical store
• The one thing that will set you apart from other brands
• Why crowdfunding is not necessarily a good strategy for fashion brands
• A relatively unknown yet surprisingly beneficial source of loans
• The importance of pre-orders to grow your business
• And much more
Brands mentioned in vegan business roundup: