|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2012)|
|Founder(s)||Sam Elmer, Ian and Shep Murray|
|Headquarters||Stamford, Connecticut, USA|
|Number of locations||40 Stores, 8 Outlets, 97 Retailers|
|Products||Clothing and accessories|
|Revenue||$100,000,000 (2011)|
|Owner(s)||Sam Elmer, Ian and Shep Murray|
Vineyard Vines is an American clothing and accessory retailer founded in 1998 on Martha's Vineyard by brothers Shep and Ian Murray. The brand started with ties, but has since incorporated hats, belts, shirts, shorts, and bags for men, women, and children, and has grown to have several retail stores and outlets along the East Coast.
Originally, Ian and Shep held high-paying corporate jobs in Manhattan, New York City. However, the brothers grew tired of the corporate lifestyle. Ian claims the duo “started making neckties so [they] didn’t have to wear them.” During the fourth weekend in July, the two brothers nomadically sold their 800 ties throughout Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts on their boat or jeep. Initially, the duo offered four different styles of tie. The Murray brothers claim that the business was founded through a philosophy of "living the good life." Ian states, "The original idea was to take 'The Good Life' to work with us, then not to have to go into the city every day. We soon realized that if we sold enough in a day we could pay rent, then it was enough we could buy a boat." The company started on the capital from the Murray brothers' accrued $40,000 credit card debt because the brothers did not seek aid from any venture capital firms.
Since the summer of 1998, the Vineyard Vines company has expanded nationally, particularly among the East Coast. Vineyard Vines was placed on Inc. magazine's list of the 500 fastest-growing businesses in the U.S. in 2007. Between 2004 and 2007, the relatively new company's revenue tripled to $37 million.
Much of Vineyard Vines' successes are stemmed from brand marketing. The company's pink whale logo is emblazoned on a majority of its products. Vineyard Vines is prevalent among college campuses nationwide. The company sends representatives to these locations to market the product to students, a faction that has gradually become a substantial portion of Vineyard Vines' following. Free accessories and clothing are distributed with the intention of organically establishing the company's brand. This business model is aimed to gather a young following that will remain loyal to the brand for decades. Vineyard Vines also works in conjunction with the National Football League, the National Hockey League, with Major League Baseball, and numerous colleges and universities. The company creates ties and shirts that incorporate the individual team logos in a similar fashion to their college logo clothing. In 2008, Vineyard Vines struck deals with these two organizations. Vineyard Vines also gained notoriety in recent presidential elections. In 2004, Senator John Kerry sported a Vineyard Vines donkey tie that was distributed throughout his campaign staff. President George W. Bush also had a line of campaign ties from Vineyard Vines. In 2008, President Barack Obama was presented with a version of the tie which had an 'O' on the tail. Since then, the company has produced a line of donkey, elephant, and American flag ties.
Vineyard Vines is a line of clothing and accessories that is often compared to the those of Polo Ralph Lauren Brooks Brothers and J. Crew. Product prices range from around $35 to $300. The company specializes in hats, shirts, shorts, pants, sweaters, dresses, ties, jackets, and bags. Vineyard vines was the 2008 All-Star Awards winner by "Apparel Magazine" for outstanding achievements in the apparel industry.
The first stores were opened in Northeastern locations with relation to the sea such as Nantucket and Cape Cod. However, the company has expanded to 23 stores as well as 8 outlet locations. Every store is stylized with a nautical theme. There are currently locations in Alabama, Connecticut, California, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, D.C., Vermont and Virginia.