Tracy Morgan’s 30 Rock character once wisely declared: “Live every week like it’s Shark Week.” Now, thanks to some colorful, nautical socks from Atlanta-based Sock Fancy, you can.
2018 marks the 30th anniversary of Shark Week, the Discovery channel’s annual week of shark-themed programming both educational (a program about invasive tiger sharks) and sensational (Naked and Afraid of Sharks). To celebrate three decades of biting summer fun, Discovery has partnered with several different companies to cross-promote this year’s shows, which kick off July 22. Southwest Airlines has Shark Week-branded planes, Tinder will host five shark profiles, Lyft is giving away the chance to win a shark diving trip to its riders, and Atlanta-based sock company Sock Fancy will host the channel’s first sock collaboration.
Launched in 2013 by then–roommates Stefan Lewinger and Futhum Tewolde, Sock Fancy is a monthly sock subscription service that sends random pairs of fanciful socks—think bright geometric patterns or pairs adorned with pink flamingos or tacos—to its members.
“We like to keep variety really high. You’re not going to get a “February sock” and a “January sock;” everybody is going to get something different,” Lewinger, CEO and co-founder, says. The company creates between 50 and 100 original designs each year.
This is the first major brand collaboration for Sock Fancy, but the company has created its own Shark Week–inspired socks for several years. The Shark Week collection is also the first time Sock Fancy has delved outside its random sock subscription model by offering customers the opportunity to pick their choice of designs.
“We wanted a really good partner to launch [the new model] with, so this our first big launch,” Lewinger says. “This is something that our subscribers can definitely expect more of.” He says that new collaborations will be launched “pretty soon” and some might feature other local Atlanta brands.
The Shark Week socks, which can be purchased individually for $15 per pair or in a $75 six-pack box, feature designs such as shark fins, shark teeth, a Jaws-esque great white, and Shark Week’s new official mascot, Phin.
“[Phin] looks like Bullet Bill from Super Mario World,” Lewinger describes, “We’re the only ones so far doing anything Phin-related, so that’s kind of funky.”
In the five years since it was founded, Sock Fancy has doubled its growth every year, Lewinger says, with the company sending out 15,000 to 20,000 pairs of socks every month. During holidays they send upward of 50,000 pairs of socks to subscribers around the world.
Shark Week, meanwhile, is pulling out the big guns for its 30th anniversary, featuring celebrities and athletes such as Olympian Lindsey Vonn, WWE fighter Ronda Rousey, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers, and TV food personality Guy Fieri, and famed basketball player Shaquille O’Neal.
The 2018 programming includes reality shows such as Bear vs. Shark, where extreme adventurer Bear Grylls takes on shark-themed challenges, as well as TV crossovers such as Shark Tank Meets Shark Week. Viewers can also expect shows exploring the more mythical side of the ocean dwellers, such as Alien Sharks: Greatest Hits and Megalodon: Fact vs. Fiction.