With the mission of creating affordable, quality clothing, Goizueta Business School sophomores Ryan Walsh and Duncan Cock-Foster, established Edward Foster, a clothing company, during their freshman year. This line of versatile shirts could be worn anywhere from a class to a job interview. They began their venture as freshmen looking to create a quality product as well as gain business experience.
After a full year of researching fabrics, embroidery methods and fits, they have created their own personal line of shirts. Their 100 percent cotton oxford, plaid and chambray shirts come in a variety of colors and present “a preppy, bold look that celebrates classic styles but also innovates new ones,” Cock-Foster said.
“We thought that we would gain much more real world experience if we did something that had real world risks and rewards,” Cock-Foster said. “I think most people see a task like starting a company while in college and think they could never possibly do it. Our approach was simply to take it step by step. At first, it was an extremely daunting task, but when we broke it down into smaller pieces, it became much more manageable.”
Officially launched on April 8, the clothing line has already captured the attention of stores throughout Atlanta and may soon appear in Kinnucans, known for its outdoor footwear, apparel, gear and accessories, H. Stockton, a high-end men’s clothing store and a few others. While these shirts may soon appear in local stores, as well as select stores in Rhode Island, where Walsh is from, he and Cock-Foster refuse to allow their clothing to be marked up in price. They uphold their commitment to create an affordable, quality product geared towards college men.
They prefer to distribute their products through their new, fully operational website, which features men of Emory sporting these original designs throughout campus. Distributing the product through their website rather than selling them to a third party allows them to maintain affordable prices for college students; plus, they offer a discount to Emory students. Not only can Emory students pay only $40 as opposed to the standard $60, but also Cock-Foster or Walsh will personally deliver the shirts between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. the next day to main campus. They will also hand-deliver shirts to the Oxford campus three days a week.
As a new business working its way from the ground up, Edward Foster is currently getting shirts produced in China to cut the cost of production. While they would not disclose the name of the factory, claiming that it gave them a competitive edge, Cock-Foster and Walsh did verify that the factory producing their clothing was backed by Sinotrust, a third party organization that guarantees factories have proper licensing and certifications. They eventually hope to move production to the United States once they sell enough shirts. Although they do not have an estimated number of shirts that they must sell in a given time period, they hope to see their product grow in popularity before moving production to the United States, which cannot match international prices for the cost of production. At that point, they plan to add more items such as t-shirts, polo shirts and quarter zip sweatshirts to their clothing line. They also plan to produce belts, ties and socks.
The lyre, Edward Foster’s official logo embroidered on all of their clothes, not only speaks of Cock-Foster and Walsh’s strong belief in the power of music, but also in its symbolism of being the underdog in historical and mythological accounts.
“When we first started contacting people, we found that they were skeptical of our abilities, simply because we are young and just getting off the ground,” Cock-Foster said. “So we picked a logo that was more than what met the eye. Orpheus did not look like much, carrying around such a simple instrument, but when he started to play it, everyone paid attention. When we see the lyre, we think of everyone who has doubted us and not believed in us, and think of how good it will feel to prove them wrong.”
Correction (4/13 at 9:18 p.m.): In the above article, part of Duncan Cock-Foster’s name was omitted. The article has since been updated.