Boasting the commanding tagline, "Beware," ISVERA has taken inspiration from sports, music, fashion, and graffiti, in establishing itself as a brand. Created in Aspen, Colorado by masterminds Steve Sherer, Mike Sherer, and Jesse Tanner, the brand debuted in 2008 and has demanded notice ever since. Offering mainly men's apparel, ISVERA defies brand labeling, avoiding such a limiting identity and instead markets itself to “earthlings,” as a whole.
TransWorld Business had a chance to catch up with the brains behind the operation- Steve, Mike and Jesse- via email to get a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration, innovation, and intention that are ISVERA.
When/where was the brand born?
Isvera was born in Aspen when brothers Steve Sherer and Mike Sherer (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) teamed up with Jesse Tanner (Aspen, Colorado) and began formulating their ideas into a more concrete code. It was 2008 when things started to unveil.
How did you get started?
The more time we spent together brainstorming, the more we realized we had parallel interests/goals, not only with sports, but also in graffiti, music, fashion and life in general, really. We felt like our ideas were congruent to one another, in theory and in a visual sense, too. We had that desire to make the products we were using better – There was always that 'something' we thought needed to be done differently. The combination of these things became ISVERA. We did our first run of 100 men's t-shirts when we decided the "Bullet Vest" had to be made first.
Does the name have any particular meaning?
It's completely original. We wanted a clean slate with no boundary. Something that you had never heard of or experienced before, that provokes your imagination. We used a combination of letters and aesthetic vibe as well as family initials. It's a mysterious formula. Conceptually, our brand statement is 'Beware'.
How have you created hype for the brand?
Through the use of flyers and our web presence. Our live shows and release parties have really pushed our momentum and image. Furthermore, working with artists that we believe in allows us to be passionate about promoting them. Using artists/individuals/creators we want to represent our brand and help to build it simultaneously, too. We also are interested in exposing people to something that they haven't necessarily experienced before. We are hype. Our provocative name and logo[s] are hype. People want to know what it is and want to understand it.
What types of products are you currently offering?
Men's sweatshirts, t-shirts, v-necks, tank tops, trapper hats, snapbacks, and beanies. We occasionally offer exclusive women's pieces. In our upcoming collection we have kids t-shirts and sweatshirts that are getting awesome feedback. We also make great iPhone cases.
What is your target audience?
Earthlings. Every last one – Whether it be the guy wearing our product or the people forced to see our mark when he walks by.
How many stores carry ISVERA?
We have approximately 15 accounts, East to West.
What percentage of you business is online vs. in-store?
We sell at a ratio of about 1:2, online:in-store.
What product(s) is/ are currently your top performers online?
Our Wild Animal Zip Hood always does really well. Tank tops are also a hit for summer.
Overall description of the local market over the past six months?
Our current stores have continued to gain trust in ISVERA and we have seen growth in their orders with each delivery. We have also continued to gain new accounts. At the same time, people are more cautious with their spending and often need flexibility with payments – In that sense, we really try to work with them and build for the future together.
What makes your brand unique? How does it fit into your target 'scene'?
We are unique because we are based in Aspen, Colorado, a snowboarding/ski industry Mecca, however it is far from the streetwear or fashion world of NYC or LA. We have never declared 'snowboard brand', 'skateboard brand', 'hip-hop brand', 'hardcore brand' etc. We are a product of all these things. We are not 'Aspen fashion.'
What are your expectations for the brand in the coming year?
To continue building our store account base, both online/brick-and-mortar. Producing more events on a national level. We also hope to get involved with supporting and partnering in some form of charity/aid/organization[s].
Any collections currently in the works?
Our most recent collection, All-American Terror, is currently in production in Denver, Colorado and drops May 14 nationwide.