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Boston Now Newspaper, Published on Mon, Apr 23, 2007, Page 10

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 wallet problem.
"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 was born.

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


Sacramento Bee
“If You Could be James Bond”
November 29th, 2006. By Leigh Grogan

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 “Seinfeld’s George Costanza.) The Big Skinny, dubbed “the world’s thinnest, smallest and lightest wallet,” is suitable for the Bond man. And at $19.95, that leaves cash for a martini or two; available at www.BigSkinny.net.


CycleWorld
“Big Skinny Wallet”
November 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.


Boston Magazine’s
“Best of Boston Issue”

August 2005, page 38

The Assessment
Pocket Protector: The Big Skinny is the rare wallet that won’t be a pain in the butt.
By Bryan Bowen

Cambridge entrepreneur Kiril Stefan Alexandrov has solved a problem that’s long vexed mankind: how to prune the bulging, lumbar-straining wallet. His sleek, utilitarian Big Skinny billfold is made of pliable microfiber material—the same kind used in Prada handbags—that flexes to fit your derriere even when you’re 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.

So money
Finally, a comfortable way to carry your cash.



H-TEXAS Magazine
August 2005, page 22

GUY GEAR
By Phaedra Friend

What’s 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 Review-Journal
July 7th, 2005, page 15
Image Section: Beauty, Fashion, Style


The Pocket Pal
All too often, men stockpile credit cards, player’s club cards and business cards in their leather wallets, stretching them out and adding to the bulk in their backside.

You’ve 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.



The Sacramento Bee
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

<MoneyMatters>
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 world’s 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 let’em see that size really does matter. To order, call 888-THIN-WALLET or visit www.bigskinny.net.



Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Stylebook: 1/1/06

Top billing
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.



Arkansas Democrat Gazette
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.)



Contra Costa Times
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.



Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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 Khaki.

TO BUY IT: It's available through www.bigskinny.net.



The Worcester Telegram
and Gazette

July 19th, 2005
Section C: People (pages 1 and 4)


Banking on the Big Skinny: Wisp-thin wallet aids the thin look
By Pamela H. Sacks

Kiril Stefan Alexandrov’s wallet is getting fat off the Big Skinny.

Mr. Alexandrov, a multi-faceted entrepreneur, has designed what he bills as “the world’s 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 wasn’t 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 Macy’s, 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 you’re biking, or running, or sitting, you don’t 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 democratic.”

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. Alexandrov’s 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 a laugh.

“I didn’t 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. Alexandrov’s 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. Alexandrov’s 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 master’s 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.

“We’d make proofs,” Mr. Kutchniki says. “He’d come back and check the proofs and make changes, and we’d 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 review—a labor of love—and became CEO of Genigma Corp.

By 2004, Mr. Alexandrov had moved on to international relations through connections at Harvard’s 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 Issue
http://www.cyreport.com/a.asp?id=69

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.
http://www.bigskinny.net

If you would like to submit a press review, please send an email to Reviews@bigskinny.net.