Standing tall at 6’11” and 6’9” respectively, Mike and Dan were often referred to as the “Twin Towers” growing up. With towering heights come large feet, and they often had trouble finding quality, stylish dress socks that fit comfortably.
As entrepreneurs, the brothers knew they needed to take the problem into their own hands (er, feet?) and create a solution. That’s why they began engineering socks for men sizes 9-20.Sadly, Dan and Mike’s nickname became tragically ironic when they lost their beloved father, Andrew, in the World Trade Center attacks.
Only 11 years old at the time, the twins, along with their mother Lisa, took to the streets of NYC to help hand out essentials to first responders at Ground Zero—namely socks. In the heartbreaking aftermath of 9/11, the Friedman’s received overwhelming support from family, friends, and charitable organizations. Dan and Mike became two of Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit dedicated to assisting children and families affected by terrorism and traumatic loss.
In an effort to show the family’s appreciation of its community, not only is each Tall Order sock named and designed after a close friend of Andrew Friedman’s, but also ten percent of Tall Order’s earnings is donated to non-profits like Tuesday’s Children.
RM: We love the concept of Tall Order socks. Can you share the history on the company?
TO: As twins, standing 6’9″ and 6’11”, we were always referred to as the “Twin Towers.” This nickname became sadly ironic when we lost our dad, Andrew Friedman, in the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11. In his memory we created Tall Order Socks to fit all men (sizes 9-20) regardless of size.
To our family, socks have always represented hope. After 9/11, we took to the streets of NYC to pass out socks to first responders working on recovery efforts. Their feet were getting wet on the pile, and we wanted to show our support. Sixteen years later, huddled around a dinner table, a casual family conversation sparked a new business venture and yet again, socks were at the core.
Each Tall Order sock features a blue logo on each ankle symbolizing the sky on 9/11 and serving as a reminder of our shared “Tall Order” to help one another in challenging times. In this spirit we donate 10% of profits to Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit which assists other communities facing traumatic loss as well as our cherished Gold-Star families.
RM: You lost your father at a young age, if he was still alive, do you think your business would be different?
TO: Clearly the impetus behind Tall Order was our dad. That said, regardless of whether he perished on 9/11, we believe we would have started a company with a mission of social responsibility at its core. Our dad always taught us that giving back should be something we do daily as a part of our everyday lives.
RM: Do you see the company expanding into other fashions and if not, will you eventually make socks for women?
TO: As tall men, we know how difficult it is to find clothing when you are not the “standard” size; short men can be wide, tall men can be slender. We want to someday be recognized as the go-to lifestyle brand for people with wardrobe challenges. At this time we are not considering women’s socks, but you never know!
RM: Father’s Day is around the corner, what comes to mind?
TO: Whenever we think of Father’s Day, we remember all of the great times we had with our dad from playing golf, to going to professional sporting events or going out for great meals. Even doing nothing was fun with him.
RM: So Tall Order is about paying it forward. How do you select the charities you give to and can you share with the readers what organization will receive a percentage of sales?
TO: In an effort to show our appreciation of our community, not only is each Tall Order sock named and designed after a close friend of our dad, but also ten percent of Tall Order’s earnings is donated to Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit created in the aftermath of 9/11.
Tuesday’s Children provides a lifetime of healing for those who have been forever changed by terrorism and traumatic loss.
Through a time-tested, long-term approach, Tuesday’s Children programming serves and supports U.S. military Families of the Fallen; builds resilience and common bonds in communities worldwide recovering from tragedies while keeping the promise to support all those impacted by 9/11.
Since 2001, they have served over 27,000 individuals through consistent and successful evidence-based programs—trauma and grief support, youth mentoring, career resources, community and family engagement events, and volunteerism opportunities. Their programs strengthen resilience, foster post-traumatic growth and build common bonds.
In addition to Tuesday’s Children, we partner with many other non-profits including The Junior League, Jewish Federation of North America, The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, The American Kidney Fund, and The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, just to name a few. For every sock sold with an associated code, we donate a portion of the sale back to the charity. Most organizations are chosen based on how their programs support people in need or help develop cures for chronic and fatal illnesses. Our mom, Lisa Friedman Clark, is a 33-year ovarian cancer survivor. She was 23 when she was diagnosed and went through many rounds of chemotherapy. Our dad stood by her side and they were engaged shortly after she finished her treatments. She learned, at an early age, how we all need to help one another through life’s most difficult times. Therefore, we make sure that helping others is at the root of every decision we make.
RM: Where do you see the company in 5 years from now?
TO: On the cover of Fortune Magazine!
RM: Let’s have some fun…
TO: Favorite Food? Sushi and steak
Favorite Restaurant? Peter Luger Steak House, Brooklyn NY
Favorite Animal? Great Danes (gentle giants like us)
Favorite Music? Mike – Hip Hop and EDM Dan – everything
Favorite Male Designer? Not many options in our size
Favorite Female Designer? Our mom…she gives us advice on what to wear
RM: What advice would you give your eight-year old self?
TO: Make every day count and follow your dreams. Don’t be afraid to take risks, don’t be afraid to fail, and always eat your dessert!
RM: Where can we see all your latest styles and how can people follow you?
TO: People can see our latest styles and order from our website www.tallorder.com
RM: Thank you for your time and I look forward to speaking with you again soon.
TO: It is our pleasure and we look forward to our next interview.