Behind every great man is a great… wardrobe. Yes, it’s true — at least when it comes to the handsomely clad, professionally accomplished chaps in our new series, Dress for the Job You Want, which profiles more than a few good men who have proven that success is an equation of both substance and style.
They’ve cut their teeth in the fashion industry, climbed the corporate ladder, created their own companies, and conjured plenty of new ideas — looking damn good while doing it. For these guys, dressing for the occasion is simply part of the gig.
But you don’t have to be a fully suited, buttoned-up show-off to stake your claim in the game, as suave subtlety often wins in the end. And, with our apologies to Mark Twain, it takes a lot more than just clothes to make the man. However, a good sartorial statement can go a long way when it comes to charting your career course.
This fine gentleman is responsible for delivering “fantastically fantastic socks” to your mailbox every month. Bryan DeLuca, co-founder and CEO of Foot Cardigan (and unofficial “fastest beard-grower in the West”) leads the #socknado, where the self-described eternal optimist and visionary is quick to point out that his music-business major in college comes in handy.
If you can’t already tell, DeLuca and his team are a lively, delightfully sarcastic bunch, and that punchy attitude is appropriately written over every single pair of their unique socks that are guaranteed conversation starters. Foot Cardigan also recently got some major air time on ABC’s Shark Tank, where they won a $250,000 investment from Mark Cuban and guest shark, Troy Carter.
Not surprisingly, since that episode aired on TV, the company has been going gangbusters with sock subscriptions increasing exponentially and new collections on the horizon. However, DeLuca is taking all the sock-ccess in stride. You can still find him marching to the beat of his own drum — in a good pair of socks, of course.
He escaped the #socknado for a bit to chat with us. You’ll want to kick off your shoes for this.
The Cheat Sheet: What do you love most about your job?
Bryan DeLuca: I get to think about fun socks all day. What’s not to love?! Of course, it’s more than that. But our brand tone allows me to be me — which is a combination of irreverent, creative, obnoxious, and probably a few other things. But, really, I’m just a big idiot.
CS: Favorite part of your 9-to-5 day?
BD: Talking with our people is what I enjoy most. We have a killer staff, and we’re building a family here. If they are happy and love doing what they do, our business will thrive. My job is to make sure they have a lot of fun while empowering them to do the best work they can do.
CS: Workday essentials?
BD: Baron Fig notebook; EDM music; morning perusing of Product Hunt; random GIFS
CS: How do you define your personal style?
BD: Casual eclectic — I made that up just now. I don’t know what it actually means. But I do like to put things together that don’t make a ton of sense sometimes. I love good T-shirts; plain ones, but in bold colors. And, I obsess over a great pair of denim. And, of course, socks are the most important part.
CS: Why should all guys care about their personal style?
BD: I’m more of an advocate of being yourself — whatever that means to you. If your personal style is a fishing shirt and khakis, and you’re comfortable in your skin, then bravo. Good for you! I struggled for a while with wanting to dress and look like other people. The more comfortable I became in my own skin, the more I didn’t care or listen to what other people thought about my style. And, when you get to that point, whatever you wear is your personal style and it’s all the better because it’s “you.”
CS: Do you believe that success and good style go hand-in-hand?
BD: Well, all I can say is that success and a good pair of socks definitely do!
CS: Where do you like to spend your off-duty hours?
BD: With my family … My wife and daughter are my muses. No matter what each busy day brings as our company expands and grows, it’s so nice to come home to my two-year-old who is so oblivious to what I do. She just wants to play with her dad. It’s a much-needed and rewarding break from work.
CS: Best career advice you’ve received?
BD: Don’t do anything for the money.
CS: What are your “style cheats”?
BD: Take risks; don’t care about what others think; create your own style. Find that one item or whole look that defines your personality. If it’s a plain white T-shirt, that’s awesome. If it’s a purple bespoke suit, then rock it.