Mizzen+Main, clothing brand loved by Mark Cuban and J.J. Watt, lands $3 million funding round

E-commerce clothing startup Mizzen+Main has just landed a $3 million funding round that it says will be used to grow its cash reserves, with some of it being earmarked for marketing, additional staff hires and new inventory.

Mizzen+Main has already hit prime time thanks to its popularity with well-known sports personalities, such as Houston Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt, who signed on as the brand’s ambassador late last year. The brand is also popular with Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban and New Orleans Saints’ player Thomas Morstead, who was one of the lead investors in the round.

Talking to the Dallas Morning News, Mizzen+Main founder Kevin Lavelle, a graduate of Southern Methodist University, said that after launching the brand back in 2012, its seen 400-500 percent growth year-over-year for the last four years. This is best evidenced by the ramping up of its expansion into brick and mortar stores. Just one year ago, Mizzen+Main’s products were sold in just 50 stores across the country, but now they’re present in over 200 stores, including the Stanley Korshak department store and the St. Bernard sports outfitters in Dallas, where the company is based. Even so, the bulk of the company’s clothes are sold online, with about 80 percent of sales driven by e-commerce, Lavelle explained.

For those who’re unfamiliar with Mizzen+Main, it specializes in American-made menswear, such as shirts, pants and sweaters. The brand’s signature product is a $125 dress shirt that never needs to be ironed or dry cleaned as its made from athletic, moisture-wicking performance fabric. Easy to see why it’s so popular.

Mizzen+Main shot to fame during the most recent Super Bowl earlier this year, after opening a four-day pop-up shop in downtown San Francisco that caught the attention of none other than the Today Show. Despite this press coverage, Lavelle insisted that most NFL stars learned about the brand through word-of-mouth.

“It’s spread in a very grass roots and wildfire-like way,” he told the Dallas Morning News.

Other investors participating in the round include PCS Wireless chief executive officer Ben Nash; George Couri and Bruce Kalmick of Triple 8 Management, an Austin music management company; the Vegas Tech Fund, a seed investment fund started by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh; Brian Tochman of MRCA Investment, a Dallas venture capital firm; and other private investors, including an unnamed New York hedge fund manager who asked to participate because he’s a loyal customer.

Mizzen+Main previously raised $1.2 million from friends, family and investors, including Astor & Black founder David Schottenstein and the Vegas Tech Fund.

Mike Wheatley