Boston Now Newspaper, Published on Mon, Apr 23, 2007, Page
The skinny on wallet upgrade
New design keeps your pockets clean
by Scott Wachtler
Is that overstuffed wallet in your back pocket giving you a huge pain in
the...well, you know where I'm going. How many times have you taken a credit
card out of your wallet and had all of its cousins come spilling out? Kiril
Stefan Alexandrov feels your pain and frustration. Alexandrov is a former
Massachusetts Institute of Technology $50K Entrepreneurship Competition winner
and creator of the Boston Book Review. Now he's done something about your
"I could never find [a wallet] I liked," Alexandrov said. "It was always
this wallet's too thick or too heavy. Too many pockets; too few pockets.
I had a rubber band at one point." Through this frustration the Big Skinny
The Big Skinny uses an advanced
version of nylon micro-fiber material that made Prada famous, along with
a special rubber backing that prevents credit cards and money from slipping
out when you open it, or hold it upside down. "I interviewed over a hundred
people. I did a lot of research into what people wanted in a wallet," Alexandrov
said. The Big Skinny's success has turned Alexandrov's solution into a full-time
job: marketing the Big Skinny from its online home base (bigskinny.net) to
the brick and mortar world.
"I'm starting to approach
a few catalogues," Alexandrov said. "Retailers have been approaching me too."
In an interview held at the Signet Society in Cambridge, Alexandrov showed
mockups of new tin containers in which the retail version of Big Skinny would
be sold. Next up for Alexandrov is something more akin to his days when the
Boston Book Review was still in publication. He is currently working on a
book about famous people from his native country Bulgaria.
Think you could use a Big Skinny wallet?
Send us a picture of your overstuffed
wallet. BostonNOW will publish the photo of what we think is the worst offender,
and it owner receives a free Big Skinny.
Boston Globe, March 5th, 2007, page 2 of the Sidekick
Shopping Tip of the Day: What's in Your Wallet?
If you build a better wallet, the world will beat a path to your website.
Consider Cambridge resident Kiril Stefan Alexandrov, who got so frustrated
with bulky men's wallets that he started using the small cardholder insert
instead. A few years ago, he decided to design his own. It's called the Big
Skinny, and it's made of nylon microfiber with an interior rubber coating
and has extra wide pockets and a slot for easy removal of cards (or photo
of your honey du jour). Price: $19.95. www.BigSkinny.net
If You Could be James Bond
November 29th, 2006. By Leigh
It appears that a lot of movie goers want to
know more about the new James Bond, played by Daniel Craig. In its second
weekend of release, Casino Royale grossed $31 million. (It keeps
getting put on ice by penguins, i.e. Happy Feet.)
So a modern-day Bond must
update his wardrobe and his accessories even his fragrance. We found
a couple of items that Bond-like guys might want to check out.
* His Wallet: Oversized,
over-stuffed wallets are out. (They have been since the days of
Seinfelds George Costanza.) The Big Skinny, dubbed the
worlds thinnest, smallest and lightest wallet, is suitable for
the Bond man. And at $19.95, that leaves cash for a martini or two; available
Big Skinny Wallet
2006, page 22
Does that bulge in your pants make long stints
in the saddle uncomfortable? Might we suggest a new, less-well-endowed billfold?
The super-slim Big Skinny Wallet ($20) is produced from ultra-thin nylon
micro-fiber, offers easy access to bills, a window pocket for an ID card
and an EasyV pocket for credit cards. Choose from Tuxedo Black, Navy Blue
or Desert Khaki.
Best of Boston Issue
August 2005, page 38
Pocket Protector: The Big Skinny is the rare wallet that wont
be a pain in the butt.
By Bryan Bowen
Cambridge entrepreneur Kiril Stefan Alexandrov has solved a problem thats
long vexed mankind: how to prune the bulging, lumbar-straining wallet. His
sleek, utilitarian Big Skinny billfold is made of pliable microfiber
materialthe same kind used in Prada handbagsthat flexes to fit
your derriere even when youre carrying too many receipts along with
your cash, ID, and credit cards. The wallet does take some getting used to:
Without the familiar swelling, it can feel not just miniature, but missing.
Finally, a comfortable way to carry your cash.
August 2005, page 22
By Phaedra Friend
Whats in your pocket?
Keep the junk in your trunk to a minimum with this revolutionary super-thin
wallet. Big Skinny, www.bigskinny.net.
The Las Vegas
July 7th, 2005, page 15
Image Section: Beauty, Fashion, Style
The Pocket Pal
All too often, men stockpile credit cards, players club cards and business
cards in their leather wallets, stretching them out and adding to the bulk
in their backside.
Youve worked hard to have your summer bod, so why would you want a
big bulge in your back pocket? A new wallet, The Big Skinny, is on the market
just in time for summer, and to reduce the junk in your trunk.
Developed by Kiril Alexandrov (who won a $50,000 entrepreneurial award at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his design), The Big Skinny
is a stylish, sleek, durable and full-functioning wallet. It works as a weekend
essentials wallet, a going-out-to-dinner-only-bring-your-credit-card-and-
-identification-wallet and an everyday wallet. And because its microfiber
material expands according to how many essentials you need, it can hold much
more than its size appears.
Coined the thinnest wallet in the world. The Big Skinny is available
in tuxedo black and navy blue at www.BigSkinny.net for $19.95.
July 20, 2005,Section C, page 3
Looking Good: Battle of the Bulge by Leigh Grogan
Remember the "Seinfeld" episode in which George's overstuffed wallet explodes?
He might have benefited from a wallet such as the Big Skinny, which launched
this summer and claims to put "an end to the wrong kind of bulges."
The wallet was designed by Kiril Stefan Alexandrov, who devoted two years
of research to developing what he calls a perfectly balanced wallet. The
microfiber material used in the Big Skinny is much like the fabric made famous
by Prada bags.
And the Big Skinny is not just for men. On the company's Web site,
http://www.bigskinny.net/, there are testimonials to the wallet's practicality
and design. For example, Alex of Boston writes: "I got less junk in the trunk
with my Big Skinny."
The wallet comes in tuxedo black and navy blue, and sells for $19.95 at the
Web site, or call (888) 844-6925.
Stuff at Night:
The Beauty Issue
06-21.05 -- 07.04.05, page 52
By Ruth Tobias
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but discomfort is its dominatrix.
The constant irritant of a lumpy wallet, for instance, led to the development
of the Big Skinny ($19.95), which bills itself (no pun intended) as the
worlds thinnest man-purse. Made of a super-duper-high-tech microfiber
material that comes in black or navy, it measures only an eighth of an inch
thick. Whip it out, show it off, and letem see that size really does
matter. To order, call 888-THIN-WALLET or visit www.bigskinny.net.
By LaMont Jones
There's help for guys who need to carry a wallet but hate the lopsided butt
bulge that comes with it. The Big Skinny, which bills itself as the world's
thinnest wallet, is pliable and made of an advanced version of the durable
microfiber that helped popularize Prada accessories. Kiril Alexandrov, who
created the wallet, won a $50,000 entrepreneurial award from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology for its design. It comes in black, navy and desert
khaki ($19.95) at BigSkinny.net or 1-888-844-6925.
June 13th, 2006, Style Section, page 3E
By Helaine R. Williams
The Big Skinny. Billed as "the world's thinnest wallet," the basic wallet
has been redesigned to keep it from bulging unattractively when shoved into
a pocket. The wallet comes in Tuxedo Black, Navy Blue and Desert Khaki, and
retails for $19.95 at www.BigSkinny.net. (Pssst, ladies: It's a unisex wallet.
Get one for yourself too.)
June 13th, 2006, TimeOut Section, page D2
No More Bulge
By Jesse Yadegaran
Who knew it would take the brains of an M.I.T. entrepreneur to design the
first wallet that doesn't bulge?
Made of the same micro-fiber material that Prada made famous, the minimalist
Big Skinny wallet has a top-access billfold and three extra-wide pockets,
the dimensions of the darn thing are 3 inches tall, 4 inches long and barely
1/8 inch thick. No joke. Can you say "Happy Father's Day?"
The ultrathin Big Skinny is available in black, navy and khaki and costs
$19.95 at www.BigSkinny.net.
September 2, 2006, Living Section, Page NE-13
Buyer's Edge: Grab Bag Column
By Sabine Morrow
WALLET: Big Skinny, $19.95, Big Skinny
WHAT HAPPENS: Stuff this wallet with a stack of credit cards, a fistful of
bills and your driver's license --- and walk away bulge free.
WHAT WORKS: Made with the thin, pliable microfiber material used in Prada
bags, this wallet lets you keep the stuff without the bulk. No more aches
and pains from sitting on a brick.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK: If you're used to a more sturdy leather wallet, this one
may seem a bit flimsy and floppy.
WHAT YOU'LL GET: It features a slot for bills and three wide pockets ---
one with a plastic window for photo identification. The fabric is so thin
that it really is skinny. It comes in Navy Blue, Tuxedo Black and Desert
TO BUY IT: It's available through www.bigskinny.net.
The Worcester Telegram
July 19th, 2005
Section C: People (pages 1 and 4)
Banking on the Big Skinny: Wisp-thin wallet aids the thin
By Pamela H. Sacks
Kiril Stefan Alexandrovs wallet is getting fat off the Big Skinny.
Mr. Alexandrov, a multi-faceted entrepreneur, has designed what he bills
as the worlds thinnest wallet. He calls it the Big Skinny,
a bow to film noir, he says, when actors were so elegant and skinny.
I got tired of sitting on a big wallet, says Mr. Alexandrov,
who lived in Webster for several years when he was a youngster. It
started to hurt my back, and it wasnt much fun. I did it out of desperation
in my need for a thin wallet.
Mr. Alexandrov had some downtime early last year and decided to see if he
could solve his problem. He had worked for IBM, run a literary magazine,
and founded a biotechnology company. On top of that, he had been exposed
to the fashion world through his sister, Etel Alexandrov, a designer of upscale
knitwear for children, which is sold in Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York
and Macys, among other retailers.
Designing the perfect wallet represented a new challenge. Mr. Alexandrov
conducted careful research on what people carry in their wallets and tried
a series of designs. He tested dozens of materials and ended up using a
lightweight, resilient microfiber with a special rubber backing. When
youre biking, or running, or sitting, you dont want anything
sliding out, he says.
Mr. Alexandrov sells the wallet on his website, www.BigSkinny.net , and he
is now marketing it to stores nationwide. He was told by several people familiar
with retailing that he could charge as much as $50. He resisted and priced
the wallet at $19.95.
I wanted to make sure everyone who wants thinness can get it,
he says from his office in Cambridge. I wanted it to be more
Mr. Alexandrov has a good feel for the democratic spirit, not to mention
the American dream.
He was a child of 4 and his sister was a babe in arms when his parents, both
doctors, escaped from communist Bulgaria more than 30 years ago. They were
granted political asylum, Mr. Alexandrov says, and joined family members
already residing in North Grosvenordale, Conn.
After a brief stay, the Alexandrovs moved to Webster, where Mr.
Alexandrovs father found work as an inhalation therapist at Hubbard
Regional Hospital. Both parents learned English and eventually were licensed
to practice medicine in Massachusetts.
During those years, the family lived on School Street and, later, behind
McDonalds, which was a great place for a kid, Mr. Alexandrov says with
I didnt speak any English, he remembers. The first
thing I learned was the Pledge of Allegiance. I tried making the sounds.
Then I understood the words.
After several years, the family moved to Pennsylvania, where Mr.
Alexandrovs father found a good job in the medical field. Mr. Alexandrov
discovered his penchant for business while studying at Gettysburg College.
Upon graduation, he took a job with IBM in Maryland.
But Cambridge captured Mr. Alexandrovs imagination, and, soon after
moving there in the early 1990s, he founded The Boston Book Review. He served
as president of the review, while earning a masters degree in English
at Harvard University. At its height, the literary magazine had a staff of
10 and nationwide distribution. It was printed at Saltus Press in Worcester.
Bob Kutchniki, Web/production manager, recalled the youthful editor arriving
with his copy.
Wed make proofs, Mr. Kutchniki says. Hed come
back and check the proofs and make changes, and wed print it. We did
mailing and distribution for him, and we loaded all we could of the extras
into his little Miata two-seater.
Then, at the height of the high-tech boom, Mr. Alexandrov got involved with
a couple of MIT scientists who had an idea for a startup.
One of them had figured out how to attach molecules to DNA, RNA and proteins,
making them visible to the naked eye and much easier to control in experiments.
Mr. Alexandrov drew up a business plan, and he and one of his colleagues
entered a series of high-level competitions in 2000.
It was the right way to kick off the millennium, Mr. Alexandrov
recalls excitedly. It was the most fun anyone could ever have. It was
getting up at the crack of dawn and asking, What will happen today? I was
still running the book review at the time. I never felt more alive.
The team won the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Contest and the Stanford Global
Entrepreneurship Challenge. Mr. Alexandrov closed down the book reviewa
labor of loveand became CEO of Genigma Corp.
By 2004, Mr. Alexandrov had moved on to international relations through
connections at Harvards Kennedy School. He was asked to expand the
nonprofit International Economic Alliance and became its executive director.
The group sponsors symposiums to advance international trade and investment.
Meanwhile, Mr. Alexandrov has big plans for his wisp-thin wallet, which has
been featured in Boston Magazine and in publications across the country.
He says the orders are flowing in, and other Big Skinny designs are in the
works. He is willing to do whatever it takes to sell the Big Skinny concept.
Not long ago, he could be found manning a vendor table at the Cambridge River
Festival. I was swamped with men and women who were fitting all their
normal wallet stuff into a Big Skinny, he says. In a few hours,
I sold almost a hundred. It was so much fun.
CY Report: December
If Men Carried Purses
By Chris Yeomans
1) Big Skinny wallet - $19
There are so many different wallets that are available to choose from, but
we are going to keep in theme and include this wallet. The designers at Big
Skinny have come up with the world?s skinniest wallet measuring at 1/8 inch.
The wallet has pockets for your bills and credit cards. There is a private
pocket for ?less frequently used items and/or a condom?? (how interesting)
and there is also a window pocket for pictures or IDs. This is small enough
to carry around in almost any pocket, but since we are carrying a purse,
we will include this in there. Also, the small size will provide more room
for our other gadgets and gizmos.
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