It started as a joke. But now Indy costume designer Jess West is getting many requests for male rompers.
Within a few minutes, she was inundated with messages, phone calls and emails from Indianapolis guys wanting to buy the popular shorts onesie, typically reserved for women and small children.
“I was kind of kidding around, and then I got this message from these guys,” she said.
“And these dudes were like for real. And then I thought, could I make these?”
Now, the 32-year-old who once made a true-to-life Chewbacca costume is taking orders for rompers, at $125 a pop.
“They want to be celebrated by a bunch of strangers while drinking,” she said.
So far, she’s got five official orders, but more are coming in. Four are in patriotic-motifs for the races. The other one? A trendy dude who requested a Hawaiian pattern.
“I’m kind of excited-slash-nervous to make that one because my stuff’s kind of costumey and he’s fashionable,” West laughed.
West was responding to the viral Kickstarter campaign from Chicago entrepreneurs who introduced the “RompHim” to the world.
The company asked for a meager $10,000 to get their business of the ground. Within 36 hours, they had $100,000. By Friday afternoon, they were up to $300,000.
A week before launching, the founders made an appearance at the Kentucky Derby, modeling their good on the penultimate bro fashion catwalk.
“It’s just something interesting for guys, just different to wear,” West said.
West’s version will have vertical checkered side panels, checkered butt pockets, a drawstring waist, cutoff sleeves, and — possibly the most important for track trough urination — a zipper.
“I’m going to make them quality,” West said, laughing. “I might even put some pleats in those.”
Don’t joke, Jess. You never know what trend you might start.
West is taking orders for rompers until 6 p.m. Monday at www.festivalreadyjesswest.com.