By Natalie Angley @CNNMoneyMay 19, 2014: 11:54 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Chris Lindland got his big break after dreaming up the idea for horizontal corduroy pants.
"I had no fashion background at all," he said. "I made them an Internet product, and they became an Internet sensation."
Lindland marketed the pants with pseudo-scientific facts claiming sideways corduroy produces less friction than traditional corduroy, hence leading to cooler crotches.
He launched Cordarounds.com in 2005 with $8,000 of his own money. He sold the pants in three different colors and they quickly became a viral sensation.
So he decided to think more broadly. In 2010, with $200,000 from investors, Lindland founded the San Francisco start-up Betabrand, a web-based clothing company that mixes quirky humor and clever marketing to create online buzz.
"Why make pants when you can make Sons of Britches pants?" he asked. "We try to create products that have a novelty to them."
Fashion startup makes clothes with snark
Like the Executive Hoodie made out of suit cloth, which sells for $168. Inspired by Mark Zuckerberg, it was launched in 2012 to coincide with Facebook's(FB) IPO. It took the company six months to catch up with demand after nearly 1,000 orders rolled in, Lindland said.
Another fan favorite is the DiscoLab Collection, which has pants, hoodies, dresses -- you name it -- that reflect light like a disco ball.
But the company's fastest-selling product was released earlier this year: Dress Pant Yoga Pants.
"Women went insane over it," Lindland said. "And what was perfect is it wasn't just them loving it. It was them hating it too. And Twitter explodes ... when something is loved and hated. The traffic you get is unbelievable."
Since January, Betabrand has received more than four thousand orders for the pants, which retail for around $80.