Would You Pay $25 for a Hanger?

Details include: 1) A hook that is bolted in. 2) Birch or maple wood finish from sustainable forests. 3) A felt bar for holding pants in place. 4) Four width options for different garments. 5) A flared hanger arm to fill out a jacket's edges for support. (photography by Billy Surface)

Dallas’ Kirby Allison hopes so. His business venture, The Hanger Project manufactures wooden hangers that Kirby believes are much worthier of storing your valuable garments than other hangers currently on the market. A set of three suit hangers will set you back $75, so what makes these closet accessories worth your while? The shape, width options, and features of the hanger, to name a few. (Like a felt pants bar, above, or brass hardware, right, on the women’s version.)

From D Magazine’s February issue, Joseph Guinto has the full scoop:

Kirby Allison (photography by Billy Surface)

There are days, weeks even, when Kirby Allison wonders just why he traded a burgeoning career in finance for a life spent worrying about how the well-heeled hang up their clothes. “It does seem crazy sometimes,” says Allison, the 28-year-old Houston native behind Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project, a 5-year-old business aimed at building the world’s best hangers.

Indeed, it seems crazy that there could be a market for a luxury hanger, one of which can cost as much as a package of 100 standard hangers. But Allison found just that market in 2005 when, killing time at his job as a bankruptcy consultant in Dallas, he began chatting with a couple dozen male fashionistas, like himself, on sites like AskAndyAboutClothes.com. There was a common complaint: men’s suit hangers kept their garments suspended, sure, but not supported. Shoulders sagged, fabric dimpled, and pants creased. So Allison collected a list of potential improvements and volunteered to use it to develop the world’s best hanger—if the group would pay him for it, up front, in cash. He called this effort, simply, The Hanger Project. Two years later, Allison’s project became his full-time profession.

Today, his two-person company makes eight kinds of men’s hangers in two all-wood finishes for suits, jackets, shirts, sweaters, and pants. And Allison has just launched a women’s line of high-end hangers, as well as a range of garment-care accessories. The target customer remains the well dressed and well to do. “A lot of people think $25 is a lot of money for a hanger,” Allison says. “But my position is that if you’re spending a lot of money on your clothes, you really can’t afford not to pay the money to take care of them.” –Joseph Guinto

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