The RompHim is taking over the world – or at least the internet. After only three days on Kickstarter, the world’s first romper for men racked up $200,000 in seed funding. That is twenty times ACED Designs’ initial $10,000 funding goal.
Romphim’s commercial features bros being bros while wearing shirts connected to their shorts. They hit up a farmer’s market, pose in front of an outdoor mural, hang out with girls at festivals, and tone their glutes on the elliptical machine.
Four Northwestern University business school students started this project as a side hustle. The three guys and one woman call themselves ACED Designs (ACED being an acronym for their first names).
ACED Designs worked with “one of Chicago’s top fashion design consultancies” to bring their idea to life.
This doesn’t guarantee success, though it seems to have certainly helped. Consultants don’t drive fashion. The cool kids of Instagram drive fashion. Romphims passed the seed funding test with flying pastel colors, but will people actually wear them?
Millennials invented ironic dressing. Normcore is essentially dressing like an uncle at a cookout (think New Balance sneakers and high-waisted jeans). Androgynous models walk the runway at plenty of major fashion shows. Making yourself look awkward and confusing is now cool… with one major caveat: You’ve got to look like you did it on purpose. You know, ironically.
Romphims will show up this summer – first at festivals, where weirdness is practically a requirement. There will be Romphim-theme parties. Some fraternity, somewhere, will make its pledges wear Romphims at a mixer.
The garment looks like a novelty, but it’s not priced like one. $119 will get you one Romphim at retail price. The special 4th of July edition RompHims already sold out, to the tune of $190 each.
Gender-bending fashion is nothing new for young adults. It was the under-30s, after all, who inflicted the man bun upon what used to be a civilized society. The gender of clothing only gets bent one way; the boys are getting in on things that used to be exclusively female. Rompers might not translate to men’s bodies exactly. Women’s rompers have cinched waists, and v-necks or scoop necks or something else interesting going on up top. The male version is, in essence, a rectangle with a collar and four holes for limbs.
The campaign toes the line between serious fashion and self-deprecating humor. Its highest hurdle will be making it out of the novelty phase and into everyday life. When a grown man can show up in a romper and be just another basic bro, the Romphim will have staying power in the mainstream.