Bonobos Is Like A Zappo’s For Pants

Posted Oct 11, 2009

Brian Spaley and Andy Dunn are the two men behind Bonobos Inc. Bonobos is an online start-up that sells men’s trousers and shirts. Their business model has been proven by’s acquisition of Zappos as part of an $885 million deal.

The company was named after the endangered ape. And the reason why Spaly started the project was because he had a hard time finding a part of pants that fit his build. Designer pants generally tend to be too tight and are usually expensive. Back when Bonobos first started, Spaly used his girlfriend’s sewing machine on the Stanford campus to customize his pants that he bought in the store.

Bonobos even allows refunds and subsidizes the mailing cost of the returns too. The reason why Bonobos sells only men’s clothing is because in many cases, women prefer to shop at retail stores and men do not as much. I agree with them about that one.

Bonobos is based in New York and has about 18 employees. Many of them have equity in the company. To get feedback on the designs, the company relies heavily on Facebook and Twitter. The company made $1.6 million in revenues last year.

If you refer a friend to Bonobos, the company will even pay you $50. Not a bad deal for their existing customers.