History of the Warthog
The Britches Warthog was the mascot of Britches Great Outdoors; Poking fun at the various animal logos appearing on casual clothing in the ’80s, Britches co-founder Rick Hindin decided to put the ugliest animal he could think of on a shirt and the iconic Warthog was born, along with the slogan ‘Only beautiful to another Warthog.’
“We never anticipated the Warthog brand would become so successful, but the demand for the new, anti-snob logo quickly became one of Britches’ best-selling items during our 25 years.” Hindin said.
Matt Carson, a Washington DC area entrepreneur, was introduced to Rick Hindin by their mutual friend Leland Schwartz in the Spring of 2019. Matt's passion for the Britches Warthog brand going back to his middle school days prompted him to propose bringing the Warthog back. Within a week the two hammered out a deal and the Britches Warthog was reborn.
The mission of Britches Warthog is to produce the highest quality, ruggedly fashionable, casual sportswear at reliably reasonable prices, while focusing on the ecological impact to the planet. Every aspect of the operation requires the smallest environmental impact possible from the organic or recycled materials used to requiring bulk shipments reducing the carbon footprint of multiple smaller shipments.
The first wave of Warthog products will include the warthog pique polo, a bamboo polo and Oxford button-down shirts, all bearing the embroidered Warthog logo. Bamboo fabric is naturally antimicrobial, soft, doesn’t require pesticides to grow and uses much less water than cotton.
We look forward to hearing your feedback & suggestions as we grow.
Matt Carson & Rick Hindin
History of Britches
In the Fall of 1966 two high school friends, David Pensky and Rick Hindin, were driving through Georgetown on a beautiful Washington DC weekend. The weather was perfect, and the streets of Georgetown were packed with enthusiastic locals, tourists and students. The energy in the air was inescapable - Georgetown was an exciting place.
Rick and David had a close friendship at Coolidge High School. They sold fireworks together and worked in menswear stores on weekends including the great Cavalier’s Men’s Shop on 7th Street NW.
Deciding to go into the clothing business themselves, with about $3,000, Rick and David formed a corporation called Canterbury Tales Inc. and with the help of a local carpenter, built and opened the Georgetown Slack Shoppe.
Amazed at their good fortune, in 1966 they parlayed the first year’s earnings into a new concept in 1967 called “Britches of Georgetowne,” a full line clothing store.
The new Britches looked like no other men’s store in Washington DC. With over 200 clear, exposed light bulbs on the ceiling, lush green carpet and mirrored walls, the store was beautifully adorned with antique showcases and ties displayed on old, antique round tables, chrome and brass suit racks.
Around the same time Britches opened its second store, a young designer appeared on the fashion scene introducing a new line of extraordinary neckwear. In a small, one room office in the Empire State Building, Rick and David met a very affable, charismatic young salesman selling a new and extraordinary collection of neckwear out of a brown cardboard box. His name was Ralph Lauren.
Ralph’s ties wholesaled for between $7.50 and $15. At the time the most expensive ties at Britches retailed for $7.50 and $10. When challenged on his high prices, Ralph responded with “maybe you are not the right store for merchandise of this quality and style” and suggested that Britches look elsewhere for cheaper ties. Ralph’s reverse psychology worked. “We bought his ties which were instantly successful sellers, retailing from between $15 and $30. The new Polo neckwear sold as fast as Britches could get them stock,” Hindin said.
From the very beginning, in 1967, Britches stood alone, above the fray, rarely focusing its advertising on price, but instead placing emphasis on the Britches label in context with its strategic marketing platform, “Clothing for Life.”
In 1972 Britches outfitted the crew of Ted Turner’s Courageous, which won the America’s Cup that year.
Britches Great Outdoors was its own phenomena. Originally Britches Western, Britches Great Outdoors was born out of the need to expand sales beyond its core product… jeans. The idea was to NOT lose jean sales and at the same time create a retail concept that would facilitate product line extensions.
Britches Great Outdoors did just that. Originally targeted to a younger demographic, high school thru college age customers, unpredictably over 50% of Britches Great Outdoors customers were 35 and older… their father’s purchasing power was a happy accident. The Great Outdoors stores began to grow more rapidly than the Britches stores because of its appeal to an even larger market, combined with lower price points for great products like the “Warthog Polo” and the “Weather Buffer,” each of which created sales in the millions.
In September of 1988 Britches was purchased by CML. Rick left the company in December of 1988 and David left the company two years later in 1990. Without its two founders, Britches began a steady decline that ended when Britches closed its doors in 2003