Nathan Kohrs is president of San Francisco-based performance dress sock company CHALLENGERxUSA.
CHALLENGERxUSA is a relatively newer apparel brand that features performance infused dress socks for the dapper athlete and active professional.
Nathan himself is a former college football player who has been involved with the apparel industry since his college days in the late 1990s.
HalfKorean.com was able to discuss Nathan’s background and CHALLENGERxUSA.
Please note that HalfKorean.com comments/questions are in BOLD.
What is your mix?
Half Korean and half German/English.
Where were you born?
I was born in Seoul, South Korea.
I know that you currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Were you raised in the SF Bay Area upon moving from Korea?
We first moved to Minnesota and then moved to San Francisco when I was ending 3rd grade.
How did your parents meet?
My pops was doing some work with the American military and was out in South Korea and met my mom there.
How many siblings do you have?
Only my brother.
Do you speak Korean?
Just the food and bad words I learned when momma used to get mad at us. LOL.
What was your “mixed Korean” experience like growing up?
It definitely differentiated me from the pack. You don’t really fit in to one specific category but you have the opportunity to fit in with everybody, if that makes any sense. My mother is Korean and she raised us so growing up there were a lot of cultural barriers we embrace with moms. My brother (check Hot Cop of the Castro LOL) and I were very American kids in that we loved sports and were into a lot of activities etc so we got to share a lot of the “Korean way” with friends and our surroundings. Most of it was pretty comical at times but our friends really appreciated my mom and her very outgoing attitude. She fed all the kids a lot of fruit! They remember that. She was also a very big disciplinarian and our friends remember that too. Pots and Pans flying around at us when we used to make her really mad or when we refused piano lessons haha. Being mixed also gave my brother and I a unique look so we kinda used that to our advantage growing up.
Have you been to Korea? If so, when was the last time? If not, do you plan to go soon?
The last time I was in Korea was when we left. I really want to get back and experience it as we were very young when I left, I was two years old.
We know you are currently involved with two sock brands, Argoz and CHALLENGERxUSA. How long have the brands been around?
Argoz has been running for about three years, CHALLENGERxUSA for about a year.
What is your current role with the two brands?
I came on board as President to help lead and re-brand Argoz and while at Argoz I founded the CHALLEGNERxUSA brand.
How large is the company?
We are a small team, quick and nimble, and we use that to our advantage.
Prior to CHALLENGERxUSA and Argoz, were you already involved in the apparel industry?
Yes I’ve been in the apparel industry for 15 years. I started my first brand Cerbae in 1999 while at UCLA playing football.
How were the names for the brands created?
Argoz is just a play on the Argyle style we gravitate towards with Argoz.
CHALLENGERxUSA is influenced by our approach to the brand. We are an inventive American made brand that has created a sock for the dapper adventurer.
Bringing the functionality of active wear into men’s dress wear. For those who desire exceptional performance in a dapper lifestyle.
Have your parents and family been supportive of entrepreneurial endeavors?
Not always because there are a lot of ups and downs and they just want stability but as they see the success of the endeavors they have become very supportive. They just want the best for me and I understand that.
What type of products are currently offered and any plans for expansion?
It’s all sock swag… haha! But, there is a wide variety. The CHALLEGNERxUSA brand offers our dress performance sock that’s good for the active professional. We are expanding that brand to offer three collections.
BOS: Advanced Durability
Primary Intention: Build the most Powerful dress sock to provide elite protective durability in standout style.
Equus: Versatile Performance
Primary Intention: Our mid range socks that creates a balanced medium for function and style.
Falco: Air Glide Form
Primary Intention: A free form sock for a natural ride and technical components that elevate air flow, dry climate, and light weight durability.
Where can people find the products?
Our main retailers right now are Nordstrom or Von Maur Department Stores. You can always check us out on our website as well www.challengerxusa.com
What are some goals you have for both yourself and the business?
I want to do things I am passionate about. Creating new inventive products is what drives me so I’m sure I’ll keep doing that. I embrace fashion and style so there will always be some swag in the products. I feel fashion is an art and a way for people to physically express themselves everyday so I feel it’s important to curate a sense of style. I also enjoy athletic and physical training so watch out for an expanding territory of dress performance products! It will be the future of fashion.
Eventually I’d like to advert a lot of my successes to social causes. Helping bring peace to the world and giving little kids an enlightened picture of life and grander opportunities.
Going back to an earlier response, cool to hear that you had played college football at UCLA! Did you happen to play with fellow UCLA mixed Korean football player Tony White?
Yes! I did play with Tony, good guy! 1997-98. I played for Boston College too.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Keep up the great work! It’s not often I get to be in an environment with my peoples of the same ethnic make up so in many ways it is gratifying.
Any final words to the mixed Korean community?
I got hella love for ya’ll only you understand the way of the half Korean! Embrace the journey and do work!
We want to thank Nathan for discussing the CHALLENGERxUSA apparel line and his background with us and wish him much continued success!
For more info on CHALLENGERxUSA and Argoz, please make sure to check out: CHALLENGERxUSA Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram, Argoz Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram. You can also connect with Nathan on his Instagram and Twitter.