Why a Menswear Expert Wears FITS - FITS®

August 08, 2018

As we learned last month, FITS isn’t just for the rock-climbing, slope-skiing, trail-running junkie. Our sock is the best quality, most comfortable in the world, and outdoor retailers aren’t the only ones stocking FITS in their showrooms.

Today, we’ll learn through our Retailer Spotlight, featuring Ken Shaia from Birmingham, AL, why he and other menswear experts highly recommend FITS to their business customer.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into menswear?

A: The store was started by my great-grandfather, who immigrated from Lebanon. When I came to work for the store, it was a classic North American men’s store with a small assortment of sportswear. The bulk of the business was in tailored clothing.

At 18, I moved on from high school and came to work at the store full time. Retail essentially saved my life. I was an underdog and a misfit. I got my education through earning the respect of local businessmen who frequented the store. I figured out that most of my customers ran out of time before they ran out of money. If I handled all of their needs prior to their arrival I could slip in a few business questions along the way. Most of the best CEOs have ADD and so do I, so it was a tricky practice.

Q: What was the main goal behind launching Shaia’s?

A: When I met my wife, Fonda, we worked together to change the aesthetic and lifestyle of the store to relate to our tastes. We wanted to make it a place where our friends and family would want to come hangout, not just shop.

Men’s clothing was at its pinnacle when men returned from the war and found how tailored clothing was an asset. A garment at its best helps us function in the day. The three greatest things in life are a loving spouse, a good dog, and a garment that compliments and helps you function. The three worst things in life are an unkind spouse, a biting dog, and a ill-fitting garment.

Q: Why is a business sock important?

A: Nothing is worse than spending half of my day dealing with ill-fitting clothes. Socks historically were a key contributor in this. Before Bob Yoe launched FITS, socks essentially did not fit, which is a tough pill to swallow when you’re working on your feet all day. It’s incredibly important to have a sock that will keep your feet comfortable all day in leather shoes, keep its shape, and stay up on your calf!

Americans say one size fits all and Italians say one size fits most. When Mr. Yoe designed FITS, he changed that narrative, throwing the status quo on its ear. He figured out that the world needed a better sock for any occasion, even though no one was asking for it.

Q: What does a high-end menswear store find so attractive in FITS socks?

A: I love FITS because they epitomize my belief system: “Quality has no fear of time.” They are a luxury product built for the everyday man. I make it a point to give FITS to every person I like—the people I respect, admire, and love the most. I give away nearly 100 pairs a year. It is the most valuable product in my store.

Q: What was your impression of FITS the first time you tried on a pair?

A: Socks are a basic item that can easily be overlooked or not taken seriously, but after I wore the sample pair that Mr. Yoe gave me, I made it my mission to expose more people to the brand, and ensure they knew how comfortable and well-made they are. I then tried to connect the 50 plus retailers I knew with the sock. Most shop owners, like myself, are naysayers, but the sock persevered past the critical-minded thinkers. You’ll have to see for yourself, check out FITS wool socks for men.