Ken Wroy’s Vasumathi Soundararajan: fashion-forward men’s underwear

No more tighty-whiteys, no more ugly-Santa boxers all year round, no more boring when the Armani comes off. Thanks to Vasumathi Soundararajan, good fashion goes all the way to the skin. And it's socially-responsible, too. At Ken Wroy, Vasumathi Soundararajan...

logoWhat inspired you to start your business?

My husband and other men. It seemed to me that men were getting their clothes and shoes right, but underwear still remained a disappointment. Both for them and their partners! I launched Ken Wroy to change the perception of men’s underwear. Often hidden by trendy clothes and classy suits, the base layer rarely receives much thought. Saving the male market from poor tailoring and boring styles in their foundation pieces, I wanted to make men stylish from the inside out.

in the streetWhere do you want it to go?

Ultimately I want to change the way men view and shop for their underwear. Our newly revamped website (coming soon) will offer a smooth and fun way to shop for premium underwear. It’s all about engaging with men and their personal style.

How can we help your business?

Right now I am looking for mentors to get help with marketing and online retail strategy.

What did you eat for breakfast today?

I had multigrain porridge with milk and honey!

What’s your workout?

Running, plugged to my iPod, around the Central Park reservoir. I also enjoy yoga to maintain flexibility.

What’s on your phone home screen?

It’s a pic of my husband and me at Mt. Fuji, Japan, after we climbed it.

What do you love about being an entrepreneur?

The power to bring about change! No more excuses: you get a clean slate to draw whatever you want.

undiesWhy does what you do matter to you?

I make “luxuriously responsible” underwear for men. When I started my company, the matter evolved beyond fashion and design. It became more about how responsible I can be as a business, while keeping intact the creativity. Ken Wroy will be B Corp (Be the Change Corporation) certified in August.

What’s your “entrepreneurial superpower?”

It has to be proactiveness. I dislike ambiguity. I always proactively go out there and figure out what’s cooking!

Who is the entrepreneur you admire most right now?

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia

Why Yvon?

He inspires me because he broke the norm. His business is not about just selling. It’s about offering something good—good for the environment, good for the people. Now isn’t that an awesome idea?

designed in NYWhat’s the best and the worst thing about being an entrepreneur while also being female?

The best thing about being a woman entrepreneur is the fun of breaking barriers and gender stereotypes. The last person you would imagine making stylish underwear for men internationally would be an Indian woman! Most people think I work for “Ken” at Ken Wroy. Then, when they realize there is “no Ken and I am not Barbie,” they’re amused! Honestly, I have not found any worst-case scenarios, except the typical gender roles we all experience. While being an entrepreneur is highly demanding, I still need to get things done at home as well. My husband shares the workload, but he would rather take me out biking or to a beer garden.

Do you think male entrepreneurs are “different” from female entrepreneurs?

I often see that women in general are more self-critical, and this carries into being an entrepreneur. Of course, it’s not a generalization, but I would think this is a consequence of higher emotional intelligence.

What’s the best advice you ever got, and from whom?

A good friend once told me, “Life is too brief to wear boring underwear!

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