Creators of cool onesie for grownups get international attention

Derek Martin and brothers Marcel and Mario LeBlanc are the co-creators of the 'Tuxy' — a one-piece built to look like a two-piece.

3 Dieppe men set out to create the 'world's best onesie,' and they might have done just that

Marcel LeBlanc, Mario LeBlanc and Derek Martin, co-founders of the Tuxy, set out to make a onesie men and women could wear in public. (Derek Martin/Tuxy)

Three New Brunswick men are getting international attention for their updated version of the onesie.

Derek Martin and brothers Marcel and Mario LeBlanc are the co-creators of the Tuxy, a one-piece built to look like a two-piece.

"We had the idea of creating the ultimate onesie, something that you'd want to wear on your cheat day or after a long day of snowboarding, after a long day of hiking or surfing around the campfire," Martin said.

The Tuxy has been dubbed the tuxedo of onesies, its co-founders say, and it's a fit for your fitness and lounging requirements. 0:58
Ideal for "epic adventures or chilling at home" and "perfect for binge eating," the onesie for grownups is getting international attention.

The Moncton-area men said they launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Tuxy with no expectations, offering the onesie at a reduced price of $129 instead of the regular $189. 

Within 24 hours, they raised their goal amount of $15,000 in pre-order sales through the crowdfunding site.

The Tuxy has been dubbed the tuxedo for onesies, the co-founders say. (Derek Martin/Tuxy)

From there, the popularity of the so-called tuxedo of onesies began snowballing, attracting the attention of high-profile media outlets, which garnered millions of views online.

The Tuxy brought in more than $180,000 by the time the Kickstarter campaign closed Dec. 20.

People were ordering the Tuxy from all over Canada, the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, Italy and Germany, among other countries.

"We were blown away," Martin said. "It kept growing and growing.  

The men never anticipated such a response.

"It just kind of blew up," he said. 

"That's what we wanted to happen," Mario LeBlanc said. "But to actually witness it and see support from everyone around the world, it was overwhelming and crazy."

'Blind ambition'

Martin said about a year and a half ago, he texted the LeBlanc brothers asking them, "What about a onesie?"

Despite some initial skepticism, the three took on the challenge and went straight to the drawing board, sketching and developing more than a dozen designs to create what's now the Tuxy.

The trio conducted dozens of interviews with people of diverse backgrounds and interests to get a sense of what people thought of onesies.

"The number one answer was, 'as long as it doesn't look like a onesie, I would probably wear it,'" Martin said.

Mario LeBlanc says friendship among the Tuxy co-founders has made for a good business. (Derek Martin/Tuxy)

The question was whether the designers make a cool onesie and make it not actually look like a onesie.

All three co-founders are active themselves, whether in snowboarding, CrossFit or camping.

They wanted their product to "reflect the moments in between," Martin said. A piece men and women could wear working out at the gym or on a lazy day.

Each of the co-founders has a history of entrepreneurship.

Marcel has a background in finance, Derek in retail, media production and tech and Mario in business, and each currently or previously owning several local businesses in the area.

Despite being from the small city of Dieppe, they didn't want to think small.

"We really had to think differently and put ideas that were a little bit crazy to leap and take a chance and put this on a worldwide scale," Martin said.

Slinging onesies worldwide

Even though the Kickstarter campaign has ended, there's been almost $30,000 in additional pre-order sales for the Tuxy.

"At then end of the day we've cut off or created a segment of people who might want the onesie's comfort but would never really wear one, especially less so in public," Marcel LeBlanc said.

Mario LeBlanc calls the Tuxy a passion project, with "friends first, business after."

"I think the friends first is what makes the business so successful and runs smoothly."

Mario LeBlanc, a Tuxy co-founder, says the onesie for men and women is the best-looking onesie in the world. (Derek Martin/Tuxy)

The guys have even turned down several possible investors interested in a piece of the Tuxy business.

"We never thought we we'd be slinging onesies maybe two years ago, but once we tried it on, and knew we had a prototype and knew how it lit up our days or evenings, we knew it would be something worth talking about," Marcel LeBlanc said.

For now, talk is still all that's possible with the Tuxy. The first batch of the garments won't be shipped until spring 2018. 

About the Author

Olivia Chandler

Reporter

Olivia Chandler is a journalist for CBC News in Ottawa.