A lot of us complain about the lack of stylish options for men in the plus size market, but few are in a position to do much about it. That’s where three time all-star and baseball MVP Mo Vaughn comes in. His new clothing line for big men, MVP Collections, recently launched with a focus on offering modern, stylish clothes in sizes XL to 4X (with sizes increasing to 6X in the new year). I spoke with Mo and managing partner, Diane Cutuli about starting a big & tall line that is stylish and 100% made in the USA, with a relatively affordable price point.
Chubstr:Why start a clothing line for big men?
Mo Vaughn: I’ve always been right in between, at that line where it’s hard to find clothes that fit. It’s frustrating, and I knew this was needed. The clothes I did find weren’t made well. Why can’t a big and tall guy have same lifestyle look – [such as] premium denim and shirts like everyone else? I wanted to do something about that. I spoke to Diane, who has 20 years experience with some great fashion brands. She did her due diligence and felt this was the best way to go.
Diane Cutuli: We wanted to do something that isn’t being done right now, and have everything made 100% in the USA. We’ve only been live for a short amount of time, but we’re already seeing repeat interest from customers. They like what we’re doing, and we’re seeing growth.
Chubstr: I really appreciate that you’re putting real thought into the styles you’re offering. Why did you decide to do three lifestyle collections (Athleisure, MVP Night Out, and Weekend)?
Mo: You need looks for many different situations. We’re offering looks that you can put together for social or professional events. Theres the weekend, the night out, and one specifically made for being comfortable. Its a premium and functional lifestyle look that we’re offering. If it’s on trend and in the moment, we want to offer it.
Diane: Mo is the customer and understands it. being very involved, he’s very engaged and we’re on the same page. We didn’t think we’d see the kind of positive response we’re seeing from customers this early on.
Chubstr: How did the two of you meet?
Mo: We’ve been family friends for over 10 years. Diane is from the industry. She built Baby Phat and worked with women’s plus size.
Diane: Mo had these ideas and approached me with the project.
Chubstr: Why was it important to make MVP Collections in the United States?
Diane: Everything we offer is 100% made in USA. It’s been a long time since brands have done that, and we need it back. I was in the industry when it was very strong and 90% of the clothing was made in the US. Today, it’s the opposite. We need to change that. In fashion, you need to be quick. By doing everything here, we can move faster than most, which gives us a leg up and better control of the process.
Mo: I’ve had a lot of success here, it’s my country. We’re proud of that and want to support and promote that.
Chubstr: Why do you think that there aren’t more stylish options out there for big guys?
Mo: I think it takes a tremendous amount of effort to do [big and tall] right. It’s not a quick thing. You have to get the right people, the right partners. That takes time and patience. We see it as an opportunity.
Diane: That’s the big question. Timing is everything. There are brands out there, like Ralph Lauren, Lucky, and Buffalo, but everyone has been a little gun shy. Nobody wants to take a chance. I wish more people would do it. It’s good for everyone in this space. Someone has to start, so why not us? Offering fashionable clothing, we’re one of the first.
Chubstr: What are your plans for MVP Collections as we head into 2017?
Mo: We want to be on top of new styles. Being on trend and having things ready to go as the seasons turn is where its at for us.
Diane: One of our goals as things grow is to go into other categories. Things like shoes are important to a full wardrobe, and so are accessories like eyewear or hats. We’re going to build the brand and drive awareness and continue to grow globally.
Chubstr: Do you have any tips for guys who are in the process of finding their own personal style?
Mo: Don’t be afraid to try different styles. Look for clothing that is versatile. Learn how to put your outfits together. On our website, we show you how to create specific looks from what we offer.
Diane: Mo, you forgot about stretch!
Mo: Stretch denim is the only thing I’ll wear now. It fits perfectly and it looks great.