LINCOLN PARK — Two North Side entrepreneurs envision the evolution of men's fashion to transition from skinny jeans to skin-tight "meggings."
Adam Freck and Andrew Volk launched their Meggings Man online store on Dec. 15, selling the male versions of the exorbitantly popular leggings starting at $30 a pop.
It all goes back to the skinny jeans phenomenon.
"Ten years ago a lot of guys would have never even considered it, those are girl pants, whatever," said Volk, a 31-year-old Lakeview resident. "Now 80 percent of 20-somethings are wearing some form of skinny jeans."
So far Meggings Man has sold out of its first production line and are about to sell out of their second on back order.
The idea to start the company has been in the works for about a year and during that time a friend of Volk and Freck in New York had been constantly sending them photos of men wearing leggings on the street.
"As fashion goes, it's hitting some major cities in Europe, getting to New York and spreading out from there," said Freck, a 31-year-old Lincoln Park resident.
The two co-owners, who met each other when they were in kindergarten, say the demand is exceeding all of their projections.
So far the best sellers have been the more serious meggings such as the basic black and metallic black, but the site offers some flashy styles, including camouflage, the American flag and checkered.
The owners said they expect the trend to fully catch on in the spring, and especially at Chicago's numerous music festivals.
Many customers have been wearing the meggings under a pair of shorts, but Freck and Volk see those shorts disappearing in the future.
"We think men are coming to the point where they are able to get over any type of insecurity," Volk said.
Another group of meggings wearers may come as a surprise — professional weight lifters. The meggings are on par with what many of them wear in competition, and now they can add some flair to their sportswear.
"These guys squat like 600 pounds, so they have impeccable thighs that they want to show off," Volk said.
The company is in talks with professional weight lifters for sponsorship deals.
"There's a reason women wear them quite often," Volk said. "It comes down to comfort."
Freck and Volk have been trying to corner the market on emerging fashion and "party" wear since 2008, when they launched their first product line of full-body spandex Superfan Suits, as seen on the show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."
They later began making green-screen clothing for the film industry.
Their new foray into men's leggings is their most serious and ambitious venture to date.
The business partners don't have plans for a physical store and work out of coffee shops most days.
They are, however, working with a number of local shops as well as stores in Europe, Australia and Miami to carry the meggings.
"We certainly hope it isn't just a fad," Volk said.