The men’s fashion startup brands below will transform your wardrobe. The entrepreneurs behind these innovative brands offer fresh takes on eyeglasses, suits, business casual shirts and chinos, dress shoes, leather sneakers and more.
Photo credit: Derek Tian and Warren Liao, founders of online made-to-measure suit tailor Black Lapel.
While all of the brands below are innovative and intriguing, the companies in bold are our Editor’s Choice. That means I’ve had a personal, positive experience with the brand and its products. Read more about Modern Fellows’ experience with these brands via the inline links below.
Rundown of Clothing and Fashion Startup Brands for Men
- Alex Mill was founded in 2012 by Alexander Drexler, the son of J. Crew’s former CEO Mickey Drexler and is focused on quality basic wardrobe pieces for men and women like t-shirts, sweaters, jackets, and more.
- Away Travel — Steph Korey and Jen Rubio founded Away Travel, the Warby Parker of luggage, in 2016. Usually buying and toting luggage is a chore, but coworkers and friends seem super-enthusiastic about their away suitcases.
- Black Lapel has been one of our favorite online made-to-measure tailors for a long time.
- Beckett Simonon is a fantastic option for a range of dress shoes and leather sneakers for men. Beckett Simonon’s shoes are definitely worth the wait.
- Bonobos is a modern bricks-and-clicks department store for men. They started out specializing in pants, but now have a range of really interesting clothing and accessories. Yes, Bonobos is now owned by Walmart, but it retains a startup mentality. Check out a Bonobos Guide Shops like this one in DC’s Shaw to get a feel for their clothes.
- Charles Tyrwhitt — Nick Wheeler founded Charles Tyrwhitt way back in 1986 as a side hustle. Today, it’s a great bricks-and-clicks option for off-the-rack, British-inspired dress shirts. Stop in a store like this one in DC’s Farragut North neighborhood.
- DAEM Watches — New York-based micro-brand watch startup DAEM — an anagram for made — makes beautiful watches.
- Everlane — Engineer Michael Preysman founded the company in 2011 at just 25 years old with a promise of “radical transparency” in its supply chain. Everlane specializes in quality wardrobe basics like sweaters, chinos and t-shirts.
- Greats — Friends Ryan Babenzien and Jon Buscemi sketched out the concept for Greats back in 2007 — selling affordable luxury sneakers direct to consumers — and finally launched in 2012.
- Herschel Supply Co.: In 2009, brothers Lyndon and Jamie Cormack founded Herschel Supply Company in Vancouver. Today, the lifestyle brand serves up stylish backpacks, bags and more for women, men and kids. Herschel Supply Co’s leather messenger bag is one of my favorite possessions.
- Huckberry was founded by Rich Greiner and Andy Forch in 2010 and curates a nice selection of men’s clothing, accessories and home goods, sprinkling in its own Flint and Tinder brand among third-party offerings.
- Hugh & Crye — Pranav Vora founded this DC-based men’s fashion startup focused on uniquely-sized button down shirts that makes off-the-rack fit closer to custom.
- Ledbury is one of Modern Fellows’ top favorite online men’s clothing retailers. Based in Richmond, Ledbury specializes in stunning, button down dress shirts
- MTailor – Can an app be your tailor? MTailor intends to prove it can. An online, app-driven custom tailor for suits, shirts, jeans and more.
- Martenero is a micro-watch brand founded by John Tarantino. They produce gorgeous modern takes on traditional timepieces. (Their motto is “tradition refreshed.”)
- Moral Code was founded by Laura Engerman and Mark Kohlenberg in 2007. The company makes standout dress shoes and leather sneakers in rich, unique colors. Moral Code’s Alec leather lace up sneakers are awesome.
- Nice Laundry – I love Nice Laundry’s socks, brought to you by two former LivingSocial employees.
- Nordstrom has had a startup mindset since 1901, and has embraced modern fashion and digital retail, as well as partnerships with more recent fashion brands like Bonobos.
- Proper Cloth is our absolute favorite online made-to-measure shirting company. Their lookbooks, photos, technology, customer service, online interface and — most importantly — their shirts, are top-notch.
- RibbedTee makes my absolute favorite undershirts. Their supima cotton v neck shirts are outstanding and long lasting. Read more: American-Made RibbedTee Offers a Reason to Reexamine Your Undershirt Drawer
- Society Socks makes soft, comfortable and colorful socks for men, and founders Sergey Sapelnyk and Filip Pejic donate one pair to charity for every pair sold.
- Spier & MacKay is a highly-regraded Canadian startup founded by Rikky Khanna with the aim of proving “great for and high quality don’t have to be a luxury.” Look to Spier and MacKay for affordable ready-to-wear suits.
- Stitch Fix is a data-driven online personal styling service for men and women that was founded in 2011 and which went public in 2017.
- Taft Clothing is something of a misnomer as the men’s fashion startup focuses mainly on tremendously-unique dress shoes. Founded in 2014 in Utah by Kory and Mallory Stevens, Taft Clothing offers gorgeous, super-unique dress shoes that are simultaneously fresh and traditional.
- Unsimply Stitched is one of my favorite brands for bold, colorful socks for men. The company was founded in 2011 by Alex Hendeles in Los Angeles, and its socks are available via Amazon Prime.
- Warby Parker does a great job of combining value, customer service and omnichannel access to an innovative, online-enabled home-try on program for glasses and physical stores across the country. (It’s home try on program for prescription eyeglasses has been widely replicated by alternative e-commerce eyewear startups.)
- Wolf and Shepherd’s shoes are comfortable enough to run a marathon in them. My pair of Wolf and Shepherd’s Closer Cap-Toe Lace-up Oxfords have taken a licking and held up well over more than a year.
Explore more innovative men’s fashion startup brands
Dig deeper and discover more details about a variety of menswear clothing startups with these articles:
- Discover Modern Fellow’s favorite innovative fashion brands;
- Find out where to buy affordable chinos from creative menswear labels;
- See more than a dozen options for buying bold, unique and colorful socks online;
- Get to know these eCommerce startups making interesting dress shoes for men; and
- Check out options for buying incredible low-top leather dress sneakers for men.
Who are we missing?
Which men’s fashion startups and innovative apparel bread a are missing from this list? Leave your suggestions in the comments.
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* Shop Modern Fellows' list of recommended menswear brands.
* Search 12 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for the Modern Dad for Fathers' Day, Christmas or his birthday
* Browse our list of essential men's style books.
* Discover the best places to buy men's socks online.
* Check out these gorgeous, affordable watches with numbers
* Find Alternatives to Warby Parker that also let you try on prescription eyeglasses at home.
* Explore 10 options for amazing chinos from these menswear startup alternatives to Brooks Brothers.
* Get $25 off your first suit at Black Lapel, one of our favorite online custom tailors.
* Score $20 off your first shirt at Proper Cloth, one of our favorite online custom shirtmakers.