When Chris Riccobono had trouble finding a shorter shirt that looked good untucked, he created one. He then brought in his friend and now business partner, Aaron Sanandres, to help him launch UNTUCKit in 2011.
Today, they have 90 stores, including a couple in Canada and one in London. “We opened our first store in 2015 in Soho [NYC], and in 2019, UNTUCKit was the fastest growing men's apparel brand out there,” says Chris.
Chris, who grew up in Franklin Lakes, says being an entrepreneur is in his blood. “After UNTUCKit, I was thinking where in fashion was there another problem I could solve, and started by ordering some athletic gear. The quality was terrible - they didn't wash well and from a size perspective, they were all over the map.”
His goal was not to go up against athleisure, which was doing amazingly well. “I love their products. They look great and they last, but they're not meant to work out in; they're meant to look good in. So, I decided to create the next great true athletic power brand.”
He teamed up with Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter, and Missy Copeland and founded Greatness Wins, a premium performance apparel brand. “I already had a great relationship with Wayne Gretzky as a brand ambassador for UNTUCKit. When I brought in Derek, he wanted a woman athlete on our team, and he wanted Misty Copeland, who has an amazing story herself. She was the first principal black ballet dancer [with the American Ballet Theatre].”
Launched in July, Greatness Wins is already getting rave reviews. As with UNTUCKit, Chris says it’s all about quality. The innovative fabrics are chosen to hold up to even the most intense workout and every piece of clothing is sized to exact precision. Sustainability is also critical to the company, and none of its materials have a negative environmental impact.
“We're also trying to make it much more curated,” says Chris. “We don’t have 95 joggers that you have to scroll through to try to figure out which one is right for you.”
All Greatness Wins merchandise can be purchased online, but he eventually wants to expand into physical stores. “I constantly need to think of new things to excite and challenge me. I also need to be working around the clock, especially since I have four kids under 4 1/2.” He and his wife, Amy, and kids, Charles, James, Evelyn and Luke, live in Madison.
He does take some downtime here and there. “I'm a huge wine collector. Wine and travel are my favorite things.”