Modern Fellows reviews Todd Snyder’s flagship store alongside New York’s Madison Square Park and finds a destination capable of drawing men into shop.
Stepping into Todd Snyder’s NYC Flagship Store at 25 Madison Square North, there’s an energy about the place, even early on a Friday morning.
Staff — attentive and helpful but not overly aggressive or solicitous — are everywhere about the store. Tucked in the back corner, amid grooming and wellness products from Aesop, Lavett and Chin, D.S. & Durga and Musgo Real, stylists attend to clients in the Kin Room, a hair salon for men and women. Up front, baristas serve New Yorkers who amble in and out of El Rey Annex, a stripped down coffee shop that supplies Counterculture coffee, treats and booze.
Snyder’s flagship is the kind of place that gets a guy comfortable branching out into uncharted territory because the clothes feel so familiar. Snyder’s sweaters, trousers, overcoats and formalwear sit alongside collaborations and curated pieces — from the excellent Timex x Todd Snyder Beekman watch to Alden bluchers. At the time, Snyder’s store teased a new collaboration with the Peanuts characters, which has since launched.
Snyder himself emphasized that goal of his physical store was to —
“feel[ ] like a place guys would want to hang out… When you walk in, we want you to have that feeling where all the senses come together: the look, the feel, the sound, the smell – even the taste with the bar. It’s about creating a vibe where a guy can see himself going “I want to buy that jacket and that picture and, wow, I’m going to get a pair of eyeglasses. Which ones should I wear? Which ones fit my face?” It’s really discovering what those pieces are and feeling comfortable with the store and trusting the store so you don’t have to do the thinking.”
The store reflects the same traits — modern takes on classic suiting and casual wear, collaboration with heritage brands, and a focus on a welcoming, community-centered physical space — that earned Snyder praise for his refresh of J. Crew’s menswear line under Mickey Drexler in the early 2000’s.
These same traits led Modern Fellows to recommend Todd Snyder as one of the best alternatives to J. Crew and “a true one-stop shop for everything from suits, button-down shirts and dress trousers to wallets, watches, neckties and underwear.” Todd Snyder also maintains a nice collection of cotton t-shirts for men.
His physical storefront garners high praise from Jon Caramanica of the New York Times, who called 25 Madison Square North a “menswear store made for men” when it opened in 2016, and Bloomberg’s Troy Patterson who gushed that Snyder’s “supershop” is “dangerous on your wallet.”
A little history here: Born in Huxley, Iowa, Todd Snyder moved to New York after graduating from Iowa State University, where he hustled his way to his first industry job at Ralph Lauren.
Through stints at J. Crew and The Gap, and another at Ralph Lauren, Snyder had a chance to work with fashion icons Michael Bastian, Thom Browne, John Varvatos, and Drexler who, in the midst of reviving J. Crew’s sagging brand, brought Snyder to head menswear.
At J Crew, he helped launch the slim-fit and widely acclaimed Ludlow suit, collaborations with American heritage brands, and the Liquor Store, a playground for menswear (and bourbon) enthusiasts in Tribeca.
Soon after helping J Crew launch its innovative, menswear-only destination, he resigned to launch his own label. Snyder debuted his first collection to rave reviews in 2011 at New York Fashion Week, and found commercial success in Japan with the Townhouse, a concept store that allowed him to spread his wings in Tokyo and elevated his appeal back in the United States.
While Snyder plays with edgy designs and unusual fabrics — like a burlap topcoat from his spring 2018 collection — for the runway, his everyday pieces and collaborations, as well as the store itself, are eminently accessible. He’s “less as a mythical Tom Ford-esque shaman of luxury or a Raf Simons-grade artíste, but as a benevolent god of well-designed chinos,” as Sam Schube of GQ observes.
Snyder’s clothing isn’t cheap, but his “effortless everyday luxuries” are meant to last.
Let’s hope Snyder decides to bring his menswear playground to Washington, DC. The capital could use him. (Update: Todd Snyder has opened a store in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC.)
Photos taken by Modern Fellows with permission.
About JakeJake is an expert on men’s style and fashion based in Washington, DC. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs and innovative clothing and lifestyle brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. He has published hundreds of articles on style and apparel, and regularly interviews small business CEOs and startup founders about industry trends. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine.
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