We can’t all be Barbie girls, dressed in skirts and dresses and head-to-toe pink. Some tomboy girls grow up to be tomboy women. Fran Dunaway is one of them. Fran had never worked in fashion before. She produces TV ads for political candidates from a modern office in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. But her frustration with fashion led her to create TomboyX.
“TomboyX is a new clothing line with real women in mind. We’re focused on creating, curating and cultivating the tomboy style. It came about as a result of frustration going shopping as I was getting older and clothes were not fitting me as well as they used to.”
Fran did what many tomboys have done for years, she turned to the men’s department.
“Menswear on women is very boxy and it’s not very flattering. So we’re kind of going for the in between. We don’t want the frills, staying away from the frills and the pastels. We’re also not going for a traditional masculine look, we’re in the middle. I feel like there are a lot of women that fit that tomboy style.”
So she and her business partner launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised $76,000 in 30 days to create the collection. Fran says it was very interesting to use Kickstarter, the world’s largest crowdsourcing website, to start a business.
“We went into it thinking that people would be excited about our clothing, which they were, but what we came out with 30 days later was a brand. Which was a much bigger bonus than we expected.”
TomboyX has investors, but Fran said they were able to use Kickstarter to gauge the public’s interest in the project, and assure the investors that there is a market for the clothes. The clothes are being manufactured now, in Seattle, and they were designed by a local woman who used to design for Eddie Bauer and Tommy Bahama. The collection’s core piece is a classic button up shirt designed for ultimate comfort, but with little pieces of flair.
“It’s made from really nice cotton, wrinkle resistant. Also we have done a few things like, closing the gap, we call it. Any woman knows the struggle of gapping. We have a hidden button and it’s just a quick and easy fix. It keeps your shirt closed nicely.”
Gapping is the phenomenon that occurs when a woman wears a button up shirt, and you can see her bra between the buttons.
Tomboy X also chose colors that Tomboys might like, no pastels.
“Our phrasing is: You’re not an Easter egg.”
Based on the number of emails and messages they’ve received from around the world, they are filling a major niche.
“It’s a little more fun. Not masculine and not feminine. It’s just kind of in between.”