As Wolf Vs Goat grows we thought it'd be nice if you got to know some of the newer faces around here, so we'll be featuring some Q&As with the staff. Today we have Chris Hamm!
What’s your name and position in WvG?
My name is Chris Hamm and I’m the CEO of WvG.
Where are you based? And have you lived anywhere else in the world?
I'm based in Tampa, FL, and have been here for about 10 years, but I previously worked in NYC right out of college. I’m CEO of WvG but I also run my family’s investment management firm, so that’s why I’m down here in Tampa.
How long have you been in your line of work? When and where did you get started?
I have a masters in finance and went to NYC after college where I worked for a few financial advisors. Then I moved down to Tampa and, for the past 10 years, I’ve been in sorts of leadership roles within our company, and now I’m president of the firm. As for WvG I’ve been here since May of this year, so that’s pretty new.
What intrigued you about working for WvG?
I was looking for some more opportunities to fill in my agenda and I’ve always been passionate about men's fashion and cool brands. I was speaking with my friends and one of them knew a few people behind the scenes, investing wise, with WvG and mentioned they were looking for someone to come in and lead the organization from an operational and business perspective. After meeting Mauro and understanding the brand a little bit more, well, honestly the opportunity to work in men’s clothing is obviously exciting, but after meeting Mauro? I’ve never met someone so passionate about men’s clothing. I’ve always been interested in not just clothing but how it fits and how it’s tailored and I liked his passion for clothes but also - and this is the reason he has such a strong following of customers - how he’s very customer first and involved in what they want. He’s a kind person and a great leader in the space so it was a no-brainer once I met him.
What do you want to bring to WvG and how do you want to grow, build, expand, etc?
My job is to harness the competitive advantage of the brand, which in my opinion is high quality men's clothing for a great price point as well as the community of people that love the product, so the priority is to harness all that and bring in some operational efficiencies to help scale. As of now some of the loyal following might come to the site and not be able to buy some product because we’re out of stock, so my job, as I see it, is to make it so we have more items available and we scale the business, grow it, make more new products, have a core collection, all while keeping the heart of the brand.
What’s your experience in the fashion industry been like?
I’m new to the fashion industry. Understanding how things get made and where they’re sourced, timelines, things like how working with factories in Italy is different than working with factories in Portugal, and turnaround times in terms of making clothes and then shipping them- that whole supply chain is very interesting and complex, but I enjoy it. Other than that, as I see it, every business needs processes and fundamentals to help scale. While I’m not accustomed to the fashion industry and have to learn that supply chain part of it, a lot of the things that I’ve put in my current business that have allowed us to scale I’m putting in place here. It’s something I’m used to and happy to attack because I know how to help a small business grow. Every day I work with Mauro and get more in deep into the fashion industry it confirms it’s something I love. Me and him just get lost in conversation about how a certain polo or shirt fits. I’ve always had these thoughts in my brain that none of my friends really want to talk about, so when someone wants to talk about the minuscule things about clothes it’s really cool.
If you could change one thing about the fashion business what would it be?
I’d like to scalably and affordably supply more custom or tailored fitting clothes to people. I think the ready-to-wear space is obviously the easiest way to build product since you don't have to worry about customization, but I think as technology evolves we’ll be able to provide a more perfectly fitting shirt.
What are any other brands, designers, or fabricators that you’re a fan of?
I like Vince and Theory a lot, which is probably not uncommon, but I like the simplicity of the clothes and for my body type they fit really well. I wear Good Life tee shirts more so than not - I’ll be replacing those with WvG tees some point soon - but yeah those are probably my top three.
Do you collect anything?
Whatever the opposite of collecting is what I do. I’m a minimalist to the extreme, I hate stuff, and I go through my drawers and throw out clothes all the time. If something doesn’t have a purpose I don’t like it being there.
Desert island album?
Probably Take Care [by Drake].
If you had a sandwich named after you what would be on it?
I’d make it a turkey wrap with hummus, olives, pepperoncini, kind of a Mediterranean vibe, but I would call it the Hamm sandwich just for the pure irony of it.
How do you like to wind down?
Vacation wise I like to travel with friends and my favorite thing is to be by a pool with a cocktail. At night I’ll either do some reading before bed or put on some mindless show because I want my brain to shut off. Have you seen All American? It’s about this kid who’s a football player, it’s kind of like the new age of The OC or Saved by the Bell. It’s real corny but it tugs at your heartstrings. I don’t watch anything more than once but I’m watching it all the way through again. It’s completely killing my brain cells but I love it.
What’s a dumb joke that always makes you laugh?
A while ago my girlfriend at the time, who had a very dry sense of humor, said, “I’ll be back in five minutes, and if not, just wait longer.” I think we had a couple cocktails, but at the time I laughed for like 30 minutes and I was like, this is so dumb.
What question do you hate being asked?
I don’t want to sound like a dick, and it doesn’t always make me mad, but when you meet someone and they’re like “how’s your day?” I just don’t really know what to say to that, even though I do it, too.
What’s the most memorable concert or performance you’ve attended?
I saw The Weeknd live in NYC when I lived there before he was really big, probably like 2012, and his voice is just unbelievable.
What’s something you’ve seen in a movie, book, or TV show that doesn’t actually exist but you wish it did?
I hate to sound basic but I really wish Quidditch was a real thing. There was a field across from my fraternity in college where some of the college kids would just run around with brooms and throw balls at each other. I’d laugh, but I kinda get where they’re coming from.
What’s your personal favorite item of clothing?
It was the first "expensive" t-shirt I bought for like $75 which I thought was a lot at the time like 10 years ago. But the reason I love it is that it's maintained its softness and really has gotten even more soft and no matter how many washes it doesn't shrink because the fabric (I assume) is so good. It's kind of faded now but it used to say Run DMC between the red lines more legibly. It was kind of the first time I realized in real time the "you get what you pay for" idea.