‘Bathrobe Crusader’ starts bathrobe business

first_imgSophomore Josh Barach recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to turn what started as an Instagram joke into a full-fledged business. With a mission to “[change] the world before he changes his clothes,” Barach takes on the persona of “Mr. Bathrobe Crusader” to spread his love of luxury bathrobes.It all started when Barach and his friend Benjamin Milstein, a philosophy major at Indiana University, were traveling through Europe together last year. When Barach whipped out his fuzzy blue bathrobe, Milstein remembers being baffled by his packing decisions.“Historically, Josh has always liked lounging around in a bathrobe,” Milstein said. “But while we were at our first stop in London, he pulled his bathrobe out of a small backpack and I just couldn’t believe my eyes.”Barach ended up wearing the bathrobe to a few tourist attractions, and soon “Mr. Bathrobe Crusader” was born.“I actually had my bathrobe on during a tour of the Buckingham Palace and took a picture during the changing of the guard,” Barach said. “That was our first documented photo that went on social media.”From there, Barach and his friends decided to put together an Instagram account dedicated to following the travels of the elusive Mr. Bathrobe Crusader.Besides London, Mr. Bathrobe Crusader has been spotted in Amsterdam, Paris, Beaune, Nice, Cannes, Geneva, Saint Tropez, Barcelona, Madrid, Copenhagen and Berlin.“Most people chuckle when they see me and just think it’s funny,” Barach said. “But there was this one incident in the Musée de l’Orangerie when I got stopped by several security guards, who thought I had something hidden in my robe.”Barach resolved that situation and went on to leave more lasting impressions for the remainder of his trip. Now that he is back at school, however, Barach wants to focus on a new business opportunity involving bathrobes.“I honestly think the bathrobe is a lost form of clothing,” Barach said. “Ever since Hugh Hefner in the ’70s, there hasn’t really been anything big with the bathrobe. Not to mention there aren’t a lot of comfortable bathrobes out there.”Realizing a huge gap in the market for luxury lifestyle bathrobes, Barach wants to create a niche bathrobe, and is hoping to start by targeting greek life and college students.“My short-term goal is to spread the word and reach $10,000 on my Kickstarter, which I just launched with the help of Ben and our other friend, Yimin,” Barach said.Yimin Zhang, a freshman majoring in animation and digital arts, was responsible for creating the promotional video for Barach’s Kickstarter.“I am thrilled to participate in the creation process of an emerging cultural trend,” Zhang said.So far, 11 backers have pledged $1,274 to the Kickstarter campaign. Barach hopes the number will keep going up, so he can expand the business to include other luxury loungewear and donate some of the profits to charity.“Eventually, I’d like to sell slippers, sweatpants, towels and things like that,” Barach said. “I’d also like to contribute 20 percent of profits towards the Methuselah Foundation and other projects dedicated to extending healthy lives.”Currently, Mr. Bathrobe Crusader is keeping the details of this first bathrobe a secret, but he has mentioned he will use “the finest materials” and has already created a design.The bathrobe is $95 for the first 100 backers on Kickstarter, and future retail value will be $250. Barach realizes this is a steep price but stressed that any luxury lifestyle brand is the same.“Lululemon makes lifestyle athletic wear, Vilebrequin makes lifestyle swimwear, [Nike’s] Air Jordan makes lifestyle footwear,” Barach said. “But currently there is no luxury lifestyle loungewear, so I’m starting a bathrobe revolution.”If the success of the first batch is successful, the Bathrobe Crusader plans on releasing a line of other limited edition college and greek life-themed robes.“I better see everybody wearing bathrobes on the Row next semester,” Barach said.last_img

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