While technology makes it increasingly easy to access well-made goods from Europe, Asia and elsewhere, there is something gratifying in getting to know the designers, manufacturers, retailers and writers who are refocusing men on what our fellow countrymen and women are making here in America.
To begin, see Modern Fellows’ list of Where to Buy American.
On a quick and unexpectedly snowy May trip to Denver, Modern Fellows caught up with the gentlemen of Homer Reed. Longstanding independent menswear stores are an increasingly-rare breed these days, so it was nice to meet a group of professionals who were optimistic about their economic prospects and enthusiastic about their product mix. Denver boasts a number of intriguing menswear entrepreneurs: Besides Homer Reed, see Ratio Clothing’s custom shirting, Topo...read more
Founded in 2009, North Carolina-based startup Lumina Clothing opened a flagship store in downtown Raleigh in November 2012, which showcases their growing line of men’s clothing and accessories along with a selection of complementary products from up-and-coming American manufacturers. Modern Fellows took a tour during a recent visit to the Triangle with Director of Operations Paul Connor. Founder Barton Strawn, who began Lumina as a hobby, making cotton...read more
Circling back with three start-ups that celebrated milestones in recent weeks, Modern Fellows looks into life after successful Kickstarter campaigns and how to build a community in the global digital marketplace: Peter Field Custom Clothing: On March 3, Nicholas Monterotti celebrated a successful Kickstarter funding project for his Chicago-based start-up Peter Field, raising $17,600 for a new venture that makes custom-tailored, Made-in-America neckties, bowties and...read more
In this age of customization, it is a wonder more attention hasn’t been paid to ties. Entrepreneur Nicholas Monterotti is looking to shine a brighter light on bespoke neckwear and American manufacturing through his startup, Chicago-based Peter Field, which is in the middle of a Kickstarter funding campaign. The playing field of custom neckties is not totally unoccupied: Thailand-based Sam Hober has been around for years and offers a variety of fabrics that they...read more
Meeting entrepreneurs is often inspirational, especially when they fly cheerfully in the face of conventional wisdom. Gina Locklear launched Zkano socks in 2009 in Fort Payne, Alabama after much of the South’s once-booming textile and apparel production moved off-shore. Zkano’s story suggests opportunities remain for American manufacturing in an age of global competition. Modern Fellows approached Gina to talk about her story, both because she cranks out some...read more
Can Bonobos’ Alternative Retail Concept Gain Traction? A preview of the E-Tailer’s Georgetown Guide Shop
After arriving in the DC market via a temporary presence on Bethesda Row over the holidays, innovative menswear e-commerce retailer Bonobos is set to open a permanent Guide Shop in Georgetown on January 29. Here’s a look at their new digs, tucked away in Cady’s Alley across from Kafe Leopold, and more on the alternative experience they offer to traditional retail. (Also read on for a special offer for Modern Fellows readers — 20% off $150 at the...read more
Over the past several months, Modern Fellows put two of Ratio Clothing’s custom dress shirts through the motions. We found a remarkable and competitively-priced American-made dress shirt that uniquely balances convenience, fit, fabric and a desire to make sure the customer is happy with the final product. Read on to find out why it’s been a pleasure to get to know founder Eric Powell as well as to understand how Ratio differentiates itself from other...read more
It is an exciting time for entrepreneurs Jacob Hurwitz and David Neill, who are in the midst of starting up American Trench, a fledgling Philadelphia-area company dedicated to making quality American-made outerwear and apparel. Modern Fellows is pleased to offer the following introduction to the men behind an intriguing new brand, which has a Kickstarter campaign underway and a glowing feature in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, courtesy of the below conversation...read more
Mind the Chap Co-Founder on Introducing Men to Emerging Designers and Starting a Business in the Digital Age
To follow is a lightly-edited transcript of a recent conversation with Sapna Shah, one of two co-founders of Mind the Chap, a New York-based start-up that launched last month aimed at introducing style-conscious men to emerging designers and limited run products. Their motto is to “Seek individuality. Dress independently,” and suggest of the brands they carry on their website that, they “are not the [ones] your friends are wearing – they are the...read more
Ratio Clothing CEO Eric Powell on Manufacturing in North Carolina and Making Custom Shirting as Easy as Amazon.com
Since coming online in 2011, Ratio Clothing’s mission has been simple, says its founder Eric Powell. It is to make shirts that fit well right off the bat via an online process that is effortless and straightforward. Modern Fellows spoke with Eric about the initial itch to start a business, his rationale for making shirts in North Carolina and why it is important to dress well on-and-off the clock. To follow is a lightly-edited transcript of a portion of our...read more