TheDC Interview: Madison Wickham, co-founder of conservative-oriented youth clothing brand
Madison Wickham, the co-founder of the Grandex media and commerce company, has noticed through sales of the company’s conservative-oriented clothing brand, Rowdy Gentleman, that young Republicans are more energized than ever in the run-up to Election Day.
“There is definitely overwhelming support for Mitt Romney and the GOP among our customer base,” Wickham said in an interview with The Daily Caller. “Our political product offering stems from the idea that it’s hard to find cool right-leaning t-shirts and accessories. Companies like Urban Outfitters do a great job of catering to a young liberal niche, and in the same way our political products are geared towards a youthful right-leaning niche.”
Rowdy Gentleman provides an array of shirts for those willing to wear tongue-in-cheek patriotic slogans, such as “America: Back to Back World War Champs” or Davy Crockett’s famous quote, “You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas.”
More topical “Romney for President” and “Mitt’s the Tits” t-shirts are also on offer.
“We have always operated under the idea that if we like something, our audience will like it,” Wickham said. “We started our political offering with the Reagan Bush ’84 campaign pocket tee, which has led to an array of products. After the success of these products, creating pro-Romney gear was a no-brainer.”
Wickham, who said he sees a growing number of Republican voters in the college-age demographic, co-founded the brand in 2010 when he and Ryan Young launched TotalFratMove.com — a website that provides a satirical take on college life, from the view of fraternity and sorority members.
RowdyGentleman.com was founded soon after, in October 2011. Both websites, according to Wickham, “cater to a younger demographic (18-34) and possess conservative undertones (and sometimes overtones).”
“Based on what we’ve seen over the past two and a half years, there is most certainly a growing number of conservative-thinking young people in this country,” Wickham told TheDC.
Despite the fact that “college campuses are notoriously left-leaning and traditionally most students just go along with the status quo,” Wickham said that dynamic is changing.
“In the age of the Internet, where so much information is readily available, it’s easier than ever for young people to educate themselves,” Wickham said. “I think this newfound access to information is accelerating the process at which young people fully realize their true values.”