Vivek Nagrani Will Knock Your Socks Off

Ah, the job of an “06880” blogger.  One day it’s talking about dog poop; the next, it’s interviewing a sock and underwear designer to the stars.

Last Saturday, Vivek Nagrani was at Mitchells .  That’s the day the store buzzes with A and A+ celebrities — TV anchors, CEOs, UConn basketball coaches.  Nagrani was there to meet and greet.

Vivek Nagrani

Mitchells shoppers — plus movie stars, professional team owners and several US presidents — swear by Nagrani’s socks and underwear.  They’re pricey, sure  — but they also look and feel like no socks or underwear you’ve ever worn before.

Or so I’m told.

Nagrani — who was born in India, moved to Brooklyn as a young child, and graduated from USC in 1994 with a degree in business administration — is more than a supplier to Mitchells.  He is, he says, their #1 sock and underwear vendor.

And he and the family are good friends.

“Our philosophies are similar,” Nagrani says.  “We enjoy each other’s company, as well as business.”

Nagrani’s socks are orange, pink, red and teal.  They come in funky, whimsical patterns, like paw prints or flowers that are revealed only when a man sits and crosses his legs.  They have names:  Astaire, Villalobos, High Tide.

He makes only 312 pairs in any one color.  (The number is not mystical.  It’s all he could afford when he was starting out, and he’s not about to change.)

Nagrani is passionate about socks.  He is proud, he says, to have “changed the way men view a product they never really thought about, or even disregarded.”

Back in the day — the pre-Nagrani day — socks “always slid down,” he says.  “Now you can wear socks, and feel good.”

Former president George H.W. Bush wears Nagrani’s socks to the gym, he says.

He — Nagrani, not Bush — thoroughly enjoys hanging out at Mitchells.  “There’s an easy-going atmosphere here,” he says.  “An open-minded attitude about trying something new.  Red, green, pink socks — people thought they were ridiculous.  Now some of them own over 100 pairs.”

Many Mitchells customers work in “conservative environments,” Nagrani notes.  His socks serve as “a great ice-breaker.  They change the energy of meetings.”

Mitchells customers — and his own — are “the Joneses other people look up to.”  When men take off their shoes at airport security checkpoints, showing their Nagrani socks, presumably the Riffs and Raffs are impressed.

Throughout Saturday, Nagrani chatted with Mitchells’ Joneses.  He discussed upcoming  lines, got feedback, and learned from them about socks and underwear.

He had plenty of praise for the entire Mitchell family.

“The whole family has been so embracing to a guy like me,” Nagrani says.  “They’re so reflective of this community.  And they make a small vendor like me want to do as much as I can for them.”

So — I had to ask — what is Nagrani’s favorite sock?

“I can’t answer that,” he says.

“A man will match his sock to his trousers.  A gentleman will match his sock to his mood.

“The idea is to always have fun.  Getting dressed should be an experience.

“Small things make a big difference.  We remember the little things in life.”

Like socks.

30 responses to “Vivek Nagrani Will Knock Your Socks Off

  1. A pair of socks for $125 ???? Education budgets are being cut. Families are losing their homes. People are going hungry. And Westporters are shelling out $125 for a pair of whimsical socks.

  2. And one will undoubtedly get lost in the washer.

  3. You can find the socks for much less online; if you care to look.

  4. vk@vknagrani.com

    They are $35.00 a pair, the $125.00 socks were a special fabric from years ago.

  5. Pavan Rajwani

    Hey Vivek, intrigued by the socks! Congrats brotha

  6. Great job as always Dan. Besides being a great designer — and friend — Vivek is EXTREMELY charitable. Has donated generously to charity events for both my brother and myself, as well as many others.

  7. Had to say it:
    “SOCK IT TO ME” 🙂

  8. In his 1899 book, “Theory of the Leisure Class,”Economist Thorstein Veblen gave it a name:

    Conspicuous consumption is lavish spending on goods and services acquired mainly for the purpose of displaying income or wealth. In the mind of a conspicuous consumer, such display serves as a means of attaining or maintaining social status.

    Invidious consumption, a more specialized term, refers to consumption deliberately intended to cause envy.

  9. Tony Martinez

    You took an ordinary sock and gave it a personality. You gave people the ability to say who they are without ever opening their mouth. Congratulations Vivec, I get the feeling you don’t just wear a pair of your socks, you enjoy them. Good luck Bro

  10. The socks are great, VK has the best pairs out there. Trust me!! wear them for a couple of days and you will be his convert.

  11. The Dude Abides

    The last “Big H” I trusted was a cardiologist. At those prices, I can get an entire wardrobe of Mitchell apparel at Goodwill.

  12. The greatest socks ever. Period. I do however have to question the naming of a sock after the crazy cat guy 🙂 . You’re the man Vivek.

  13. Dan; what happened to the reference to the price of the socks?

  14. Self-censorship?

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  17. well – are they silk, wool, cotton??? what are they made of? how long do they last?