Dapper Boi Kickstarts New Androgynous Clothing Line

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Thursday July 23, 2015

After struggling to find blue jeans that were simultaneously masculine in style, but fit a feminine form, partners Charisse and Vicky Pasche threw up their hands -- and founded a Kickstarter campaign. They quickly surpassed their target goal, raising more than $26,000 to start their own androgynous clothing line, Dapper Boi, specializing in jeans with the details and look of men's jeans, but the superior fit and comfort for a woman's body.

"We had two problems; we were not comfortable going shopping in the men's section for men's jeans, and because I have a booty, I always had to buy them in a larger size, and they never fit me right. But I loved the comfort and the way I felt when I wore men's clothing," said Vicky Pasche.

Her wife Charisse was always very passionate about fashion, saying, "it is a form of self-expression; two different outfits could portray me in a different way to the same person." Out of love for Vicky, Charisse sought to use her fashion skills to help her partner feel confident in herself through her clothing. She began giving input on the how the jeans fit and look, the component and even the small details, like the bow-tie design found on the jean's cuffs.

"Charisse is super sassy in general, a real fashionista," said Vicky Pasche. "I want to look good to be her partner in crime, to match her and how she portrays herself."

After raising money through Kickstarter, the two went to work right away to design multiple renditions of blue jeans. They met with a manufacturer and began production. In the meantime, they designed and ordered the leather tags for the back of the blue jeans, which are in production now. The result: they have met their production goal months ahead of schedule.

"We promised our Kickstarter funders that we would fulfill their orders by October, and now, we're set to deliver by the end of August," said Vicky Pasche. "We were even able to order an extra 100 pairs of jeans to sell on the spot."

The Dapper Boi website is up and running, and customers can get jeans, T-shirts and hats. The Pasches did a fashion show for San Francisco Pride, and tabled at San Diego Pride, getting the word out about their new product.

The fashion show in San Francisco featured two femme models, two butch models and a transgender man. Vicky said that the crowd gave non-stop compliments on how the jeans flattered each body type, while still looking unique on each.

"It's that more masculine look you're going for, with the good look, and deep pockets," said Vicky Pasche. "Female jeans can't even fit your hands in the pockets, and even the back pockets are much smaller. These pockets are nice and large for your wallet, and we added a front coin pocket that's much larger; it can fit an iPhone 6, and still have a separate place for your keys."

Although the majority of the Dapper Boi funders are lesbians in San Diego, the Pasche's goal is to make their jeans the go-to casual everyday line for all women, not just the lesbian community.

"The biggest thing we found in our market research is that there was nothing on the market like this," said Charisse Pasche. "The most popular style now is boyfriend jeans, and the success of the Kickstarter campaign shows there's a need for our product. People are tired of compromising fit for fashion."

But that hardly means the Pasche's are turning their back on their core base. They recall a touching moment during the Kickstarter campaign, when a transgender brother of a backer was going through a depression and self-harm, because there was nothing out there that made him feel comfortable in his own skin. Charisse Pasche said that the backer showed her brother their campaign, and he's been smiling ever since.

"Knowing we're able to do something for our community is the best feeling," said Charisse Pasche.

What's more interesting, she added, is that quite a few straight men and women are loving Dapper Boi jeans. At a publicity event held in a men's fashion store, male customers took the sample jeans up to the counter, and tried to pay for them. The Pasche's say it's the stretch technology that compliments all body types: 91 percent cotton, 7 percent polyester and 2 percent Spandex.

Next up for Dapper Boi jeans are different washes and fits. Vicky said she wants to do straight leg fits, the skinny jeans and a whole line of off-the-rack fits. Charisse is thinking about designer super-femme styles of Dapper Boi jeans. They also want to design casual button-down shirts, which Vicky said were "an essential part of my wardrobe. But I always have to leave the bottom button unbuttoned, which I hate. I want to tackle that."

The success of Dapper Boi jeans, say the Pasches, lies in keeping things simple. They invested a lot of time and focus on researching the product and coming up with the right fabric. Unlike other companies, they kept their focus narrow: jeans.

"It was the first item I wore when I wanted to feel more masculine on the outside," said Vicky Pasche. "So right now, we're on the hunt for more investors, so we can have inventory instead of having each pair be pre-ordered. Then we can go about developing new products."

For now, check out the line of androgynous jeans at www.DapperBoi.com

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.