Do I want to look really sharp, or do I want to be comfortable? This is the dilemma that the average man likely faces numerous times when dressing for a variety of important occasions. Let’s face it—nothing is as comfortable as a soft t-shirt, but a classy button-down shirt really does make a man look pretty special.
Thanks to Danh Tran, a designer living in Los Angeles, the choice has gotten much easier. Born in Vietnam, Tran began working in his family’s small tailor shop, and was designing and making his own clothes by the time he was 10 years old. His dream of going to the United States to become a professional designer came true in 1994, when his family immigrated to California. Tran earned an AA Degree in Fashion Design from Los Angeles Trade Tech in 1999, and was hired by Mattel to design clothes for Barbie. After saving enough money, Tran entered the Otis College of Art and Design, earning his BA in 2006.
Subsequently Tran worked as a designer in several of California’s fashion design businesses, including 7 for All Mankind, Hause of Howe by Union Bay, and Affliction, where he designed t-shirts and jackets for the martial arts lifestyle brand. In an 11/22/17 article by Andrew Asch of California Apparel News Tran said “…the wide range of gigs made him a better designer. ‘If you are talented, you can design anything.’”
Even as a successful fashion designer, however, Tran often faced the same choice between looks and comfort. About the traditional dress shirt, he says “They’re stiff, they’re scratchy, and you can’t move in them!”
So Tran set out to design a shirt that would be comfortable, like a favorite, well-worn t-shirt, but would also provide the classier look of a button-down shirt. The exact details of the fabric are proprietary, but it is made from 100% long fiber cotton and is breathable, has six-way stretch and an exclusive double-finished construction. Because it feels so smooth and creamy, he named this new fabric “Butter Cloth.”
Tran began selling his shirts through his Facebook Page that went live on 6/9/17 and then established his website on 9/18/17. The shirts caught the eye of former Los Angeles Lakers star, Metta World Peace, who became an equity partner in Butter Cloth in the fall of 2017. “Butter Cloth is one of the best midday meeting shirts. It’s comfortable. I don’t have to worry about ripping my shirt. I can wear it with a jacket. I think it’s brilliant,” Metta said. (California Apparel News, 11/22/17).
Butter Cloth shirts come in short and long sleeves, a variety of colors and patterns designed by Tran, as well as contrasting collars and cuffs. Tran sums up the appeal of his shirts by saying, “[it] looks like a Friday night, but feels like a Sunday morning.”