MR’s 25th Anniversary: 25 On the Rise

by Elise Diamantini


From retailers to designers, photographers to bloggers, we scoured the market to find the next big names in menswear. Click on a name below or scroll through to read them all.












Matthew Miller, Sunflowerman

Matthew Miller, AKA Sunflowerman, says he saw a need in the market for menswear illustration, so he stepped in to fill it. “Fashion illustration is just now finding its footing in the industry,” he says. “For many years it was dead; perhaps an illustration here or there but mostly in insignificant places. I see the menswear community embracing it and adopting it into their marketing and branding now.”
On his favorite wardrobe item: Just before Christmas I stopped at Goodwill—I didn’t have any expectations—and I came across a pair of single monkstrap shoes with the label Miguel Angel. They were different than anything I’ve seen before and they fit perfectly. I googled Miguel Angel and found out they were made by a now-defunct shoe store in Dallas. I love to illustrate men’s shoes and there’s usually a great response to it on social media.
On his life outside menswear: My wife and I do a lot of traveling. Actually, we are living a sort of nomadic life. We don’t own a home or have a lease on any sort of housing. We are tethered to a kinetic lifestyle. I am constantly listening to podcasts and reading about marketing. Ah, and of course my love of coffee. I love everything about it: the different brewing methods, the different roasts, the culture.

Phillip Salem, Owen

Phillip Salem
Phillip Salem always knew he wanted to run his own store. So when he graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology, he wrote a business plan and opened Owen in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District in 2012. Menswear at Owen is a smaller part of his business, but he’s currently selling brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Acne and Tim Coppens.
On how to make business better: The menswear industry needs to take more risks. There are so many options for women in regard to “going out” pieces or statement looks that are comfortable with just the right amount of punch. Menswear is quite limited because a lot of designers feel there isn’t a customer for it.  However, there are a handful of designers, many which I carry, that cater to a forward, late-20/ early-30-year-old creative professional.
On his style icon: Drew Ginsburg, the designer and creative director of Dylanlex. She is the epitome of a confident class act! And on top of it, she is the nicest person in the world.
On hobbies outside menswear: Dancing. My friend Mila does private dance lessons with me at least once a month. It’s such a release and it takes me away from the thought of clothes, customers and budgets.
On where he’ll be in 25 years: In 25 years, I hope to have 25 stores. I am a big dreamer!

Genevieve Ascencio, Factory PR

Genevieve AscencioGenevieve Ascencio discovered her love for menswear when she started working with menswear clients at Factory PR. “There’s something poetic about menswear,” she says. “It’s all about knowing which rules to break and when. I learned about menswear from producing my clients’ fashion shows, learning the trade show circuit and creating press-worthy stories. Since then, I’ve launched many brands and to this day, I still get a kick out of it.” Currently she works on marketing strategy and digital content at Factory for a range of brands.
On how to make business better: Keep evolving! The menswear industry is changing at just the right pace. If it happens too fast it will feel inauthentic. The industry is receptive to the needs of its consumers: incorporating technology and embracing social media in meaningful ways. That’s what makes it interesting.
On her male style icons: There’s a timelessness about how Malcolm X dressed; he had a signature look. To this day people refer to the glasses he wore as “Malcolm X” glasses. And of course, John F Kennedy; he had a way of dressing up but still seeming very approachable and he remains the benchmark of cool.
On her hobbies outside menswear: I like spending time behind the camera lens and trying new recipes that I come across on Pinterest.
On where she’ll be in 25 years: In 25 years, I hope to have invented something that makes people say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Kevin Hansen, Men’s Style Lab

Kevin Hansen
Kevin Hansen may have landed in the men’s retail business accidentally, but he’s made a mark: as the manager and buyer for Badowers in Des Moines, Iowa, he transformed a traditional clothing shop into a nationally recognized contemporary men’s store. In December, he joined Des Moines-based start-up Men’s Style Lab, which just secured $1.85 million in financing.
On Men’s Style Lab: Men’s Style Lab is a concierge clothing service at an opening price. The concept is still so new to the marketplace that I believe there will be room for a few really solid companies. There is a novelty to getting an assortment shipped to your door with a few days to make a decision. If it’s backed up with great service and style advice, it’s a great option for guys.
On his style icon: Glenn O‘Brien, not because of how he dresses as much as the way he talks about how men should have “a sense of occasion.” And most men don’t.
On his life outside menswear: Des Moines is great city. My fiancée and I enjoy taking advantage of that and getting involved where we can. I also like to get outdoors.  I really love to fly fish. —HS

Lucio Castro, Lucio Castro

Lucio CastroLucio Castro studied women’s wear at Parsons, but everyone kept telling him that he should design menswear because he liked to “twist interior details” and keep the silhouettes pretty straightforward. And so he began designing his eponymous menswear brand as a modern uniform for today’s man. Now Lucio Castro is sold at stores like Bloomingdale’s, Saks, American Rag and Ron Herman.
On his advice to new designers: Progress slowly. Create something durable, relevant and personal. Stay true to who you are as a designer and always remind yourself of what attracted you to designing clothes in the first place.
On his favorite wardrobe item: An ugly sweater my aunt knitted for me a long time ago. It reminds me to never take myself too seriously.
On where he’ll be in 25 years: I see myself designing for airlines (space airlines of course), from stationary to uniforms and upholstery. Something amazing will come up from the fusion between technology and nature.

Nicholas Lamirata, J Brand

Nicholas Lamirata
As a teenager, Nicholas Lamirata worked on the sales floor of a few contemporary denim stores, where he realized he was blessed with the “gift of gab.” This discovery led him into a career in wholesale. Currently he’s the account executive for J Brand men’s East Coast division, where he’s been for the past three years.
On how to make business better: In order for the menswear business to grow and evolve, men need to continue taking risks. It’s our responsibility to push our customers into new and exciting product. I think for the first time ever we are seeing men try new fits, slimmer bodies and fashion-forward styles.
On his favorite wardrobe item: It’s always been a leather jacket. No matter my mood, I just feel badass when I’m wearing it.
On his male style icons: Every time I see a well-dressed man I get inspired. One in particular is Nick Wooster. He really knows how to put an outfit together and make it look effortless while still looking cool. As far as celebrities, Johnny Depp, James Dean, Marlon Brando and Kanye West have all continued to set tones in men’s fashion.

Greg Swales, Greg Swales Photography

Greg Swales
Greg Swales got his start in fashion after he moved to New York City almost a decade ago. He now shoots fashion editorials for magazines like GQ.
On how fashion photography has changed: Men’s fashion photography now incorporates more natural/imperfect moments and isn’t as posed as it used to be. Also, male models are getting thinner and younger; the classic muscular, masculine guy is used less and less in high fashion. On his style icons: James Dean’s style will always be cool, from his leather jacket to that classic hairstyle. A photo shoot inspired by him will be current at any time.
On his hobbies outside menswear: I love painting and Cuban salsa.
On menswear in 25 years: Fashion usually recycles every 20 years, so menswear will have a lot of similarities to what we see right now, but it will be considered vintage.

Matteo Gottardi, W.R.K.

Matteo Gottardi
Matteo Gottardi created W.R.K. after a motorcycle trip through South Africa. At the time, he was designing for retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus but saw a void in the market for a functional menswear brand. “Purposeful design is the base of W.R.K.’s aesthetic,” explains Gottardi. “We want to design pieces real guys can relate to. Price is a significant factor for men, and we’ve been incredibly conscious about producing thoughtfully designed, quality product at an attainable price. Our shirts start at $98 and outerwear at $298.” Now W.R.K. is sold at stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Scoop, and launching a dress shirt and furnishings program at Nordstrom this season.
On how to make business better: The biggest problem with the menswear industry today is the lack of thoughtful design for real guys. Although the trend-driven fashion pieces can be cool, they typically aren’t designed with much purpose apart from their aesthetic. We need to start designing pieces that men can identify with and truly feel comfortable in: items that are made to last through years of closet cleanings.
On his hobbies outside menswear: I’m an avid motorcycle rider and it has influenced many parts of my life, including my design aesthetic at W.R.K. I’m constantly incorporating details such as articulated sleeves, water-resistant fabrics and throat latches into our designs for the everyday rider. There is nothing quite like riding your motorcycle on the open road; it’s a feeling that can’t be described, only experienced. Another hobby of mine is skiing. I can’t remember when I first learned, but I think it was even before I could walk. As soon as the thermometer begins to drop I start craving a good snow-covered peak to ski down.
On where he’ll be in 25 years: Life has a funny way of turning out the way it’s supposed to. I’ll leave this one up to fate and enjoy the ride.

Katherine McMillan, Pierrepont Hicks and Northern Grade

Katherine McMillan
Katherine McMillan and her husband Mac started their neckwear brand Pierrepont Hicks in 2009 and she co-founded the traveling menswear flea market Northern Grade a year later. Northern Grade, which started in Minneapolis and focuses on American-made menswear, has since held shows in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Austin and other cities.
On what menswear does right and how it can be better: I think it’s important that menswear doesn’t forget where it came from. You can’t turn a blind eye to the classics. I’m all for change and the progression of style, but I think at its core, menswear needs to retain its heart. The brands that embrace classic style and riff off existing themes will be the brands that will enjoy longevity. Focus on fit. Obsess over fabric. Add a touch of your own flair… but don’t reinvent the wheel. Also, I think menswear shouldn’t take itself too seriously. In the end, it’s just clothing. We just get to set the stage for men to explore and develop their own personal style.
Her favorite shoes: I have a pair of pony hair loafers I made as a personal treat and I love them. They’re on the repeat rotation right now. —HS

Cristiano Magni, Cristiano Magni Public Relations

Cristiano Magni
After earning a master’s degree in public relations and public affairs, Cristiano Magni was bitten by the PR bug. His boutique firm specializes in young and iconic European fashion brands like L.B.M 1911, Stone Island and Marwood.
On where menswear is headed: I think the demand for more techno fabrics and high-performance clothing will keep growing. There will also be a revival of more constructed sportcoats. It will be a mix between techno-luxury sportswear and finely tailored pieces.
On his style icon: Marcello Mastroianni. He never took himself (or his wardrobe) too seriously and always managed to look effortlessly elegant.
On his hobbies outside menswear: I feel great when I work out and I love furniture and interiors. I spend hours reading interior design magazines (sometimes on the treadmill). I enjoy collecting and restoring mid-century modern pieces that I find online or in thrift stores.

Terry Lu, Essential Homme

Terry Lu
The concept of Essential Homme was created after Terry Lu met its now publishing director during a marketing seminar at Baruch business school. The two realized there was a limited offering of American men’s fashion magazines: they were either too stodgy or way too artistic. He explains, “Men of the new millennium are evolving; they are spending more disposable income on clothes and accessories, but there isn’t any publication that provides men with both shopping and style information in an inspirational and realistic way.” And so they launched Essential Homme in September 2010, “to serve, to purvey and to inspire.”
On how the menswear industry has changed and where it’s headed: What’s really interesting to me is that, about five to 10 years ago, menswear was dominated by heritage brands, everything classic. But nowadays with the influence of street style and the internet that makes information so accessible, men are constantly exposed to new and diverse ideas, and, therefore, their perspective on men’s fashion and style changed drastically. With more demand for innovation, the industry shifted; more and more streetwear-inspired “cool“ brands are gaining prominence. The good ol’ heritage brands are losing their momentum and market share, and, as a result, trying to reposition themselves to find an edge with an appeal. Menswear will continue to flourish as more men pay attention to their personal style.
On his favorite wardrobe item: Prada brogue shoes with serrated/shark tooth soles from AW13, because they are out of the ordinary yet beautiful.
On menswear in 25 years: It’s really hard to predict where menswear will be in 25 years; perhaps one might be able to dress himself with an app.

JR Mumford, The Kooples

JR Mumford
JR Mumford grew up in Ocean City, Maryland and spent every free second of his time at Malibu’s Surf Shop because he loved surf culture and the retail environment. “I loved meeting the brand reps that would pass through and always wanted their jobs. I figured, if I could travel, meet interesting people, ​surf and have cool clothes, then it wouldn’t really be a job but a great life.” When he was in college, he randomly met John Varvatos at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase, Maryland, which led him to a PR internship at the designer’s brand. “During the internship I was frequently pulled into the showroom to assist the account executives and from there I realized wholesale was my destined career path.” After college, he landed a job as a brand ambassador for Tom Ford at Bergdorf Goodman, then he became an account executive at Zegna. Mumford is now the director of men’s wholesale for North America at The Kooples.
On what the menswear industry is doing right: The industry is slowly​ getting better at providing more buy now/wear now product for earlier deliveries.
On his style icons: My friend George Cortina. Everything about his look is always effortless: whether he’s dressed for black tie or meeting me downtown for coffee, he always comes correct. Plus, he’s the only person to give me a hard time for wearing brown, and I secretly love that.
On where he’ll be in ​25 years: I’ll probably still be talking about menswear, or running a boutique hotel in the Israeli desert​ with Elsa Assouline. ​

Richard Chun, Idiel Showroom

Richard Chun
Richard Chun graduated business school in Minnesota and moved to New York City as fast as he could to start his career in fashion. After interning for companies like Y-3, BPMW and Fila, Chun was hired by Capsule as a show promoter with a focus on bringing in Asian brands. He then went on to launch Idiel showroom in 2009, a multi-brand sales and consulting agency. His concept for Idiel is to help overseas designers (especially from Asia) expand their businesses internationally. In men’s, he works with brands like General Idea, KYE, Munsoo Kwon, Skingraft, Varcity, DBSW and AM Eyewear.
On how to make business better: There’s a lot of competition for small brands. We need more opportunities to present to buyers and consumers.
On his style icon: Rick Owens. He brought the avant garde category to the commercial market. I think he is brilliant.
On where he’ll be in 25 years: I want to run a fashion house that includes all the components: my own brand, sales, distribution, marketing, PR, show production, music, etc.

Mickey Ashmore, Sabah

Mickey Ashmore
Mickey Ashmore founded Sabah in June 2013 after spending time traveling and living abroad in Istanbul. Ashmore was given a pair of leather slippers from the grandmother of his summer romance and says he almost never took them off. A year later, he was back in New York City, working in finance, still wearing the slippers everywhere he went. “My friends and even strangers on the street would ask me about them and comment on how beautifully worn-in they had become. Unable to find anything similar in the market, I sought out the original craftsman in Turkey through my friend’s grandmother. What started as a search for another pair of shoes slowly became the creation of my brand. By utilizing traditional construction techniques and working with the skilled craftsmen, we created a more modern design and better fit using higher-quality leathers and a replaceable natural rubber outsole.”
On Sabah Sundays: I launched Sabah while I still had a full-time job in finance. I would host parties on Sundays that became known as Sabah Sundays, to sell shoes and bring people together. It was really just for fun…and then it suddenly became real as people I did not know were showing up asking for shoes. Sabahs are $170 per pair. We make a few pairs with specialty leathers that run up to $250, and we currently have collaborations with two fantastic artists who uniquely hand-paint Sabahs—those go for $400 and up.
On his life outside menswear: My business is tightly linked to my life and lifestyle. Sabah is a traveler brand and I’m a traveler. I love being in the airport and in a hotel. I also like to write and take photos. I love hiking and try to do it every chance I get, which is not so easy in NYC. Lastly, I really love to cook and entertain. That is showcased through Sabah Sundays and the regular dinners we host at the Sabah House.

Matthew Breen and Brian Trunzo, Carson Street Clothiers

Matt Breen and Brian Trunzo
Brian Trunzo and Matthew Breen moonlighted as menswear bloggers before leaving their careers in corporate law to open Carson Street Clothiers in 2013. The 2,000-sq.-ft. store on Manhattan’s Crosby Street sells designers like Umit Benan, Eidos Napoli and Michael Bastian. Here, Brian Trunzo shares his insight on menswear.
On how to make business better: Menswear needs to respect the integrity of designer goods and stop the race to the bottom with respect to prices. It is the only luxury market that behaves in such a way—you can’t buy a luxury automobile for 60 to 80 percent off at the end of the season, and the automotive industry is cyclical as well! What menswear gets right is that it is starting to carve out its own markets and fashion weeks to separate itself from the shadows of women’s fashion, from London Collections: Men to the [rumored] standalone NYFW.
On his hobbies outside menswear: I’m a real video game geek; sometimes I actively have to try not to purchase a game I know will occupy my entire life. And then there’s running; I recently quit smoking, and running has become my new addiction, I guess.
On menswear in 25 years: We’ll probably be delivering spring collections in October of the previous year if these sorts of weird practices do not cease or at least slow down. Or maybe the idea of collections will be all but eviscerated—maybe designers will put forth collections the way artists paint or authors write; you know, whenever they feel a masterpiece at their fingertips. It’s really hard to say.

Francesco Cianci, Basico

Francesco Cianci
Originally from Colombia, Francesco Cianci moved to Miami and opened a single-branded menswear store in 1999. Three years ago, he rebranded it as Basico, a multi-brand store carrying contemporary collections like Closed, Zanerobe, Clae and Thorocraft. Cianci now has two stores—the original in Miami and another in Wynwood, Florida—with plans to open more.
On Basico’s aesthetic: I wanted to create intimate boutiques where the customers know the owner and the owner does the buying. I want to romanticize the shopping experience. I love when a customer finds something that he’s never seen before.
On his buying style: I buy what I want to wear myself. And my style changes all the time: it used to be dressy and now I’m dressing more for comfort. I’m currently into longer, drapey T-shirts. I’m always looking for the next thing so my customers don’t get bored.
On fall 2015: I’m looking for more color and prints (floral and animal) because guys are much more daring than ever before. They want to have fun with their clothes. Especially if they can’t dress the way they want during the week, they want to experiment with their weekend wear. Comfort and fit are key. We’ll continue to see joggers play an important role in his wardrobe. This look is super cool and comfortable. We’re doing well with styles from Zanerobe. I’m also loving Japanese brands like Caminando sneakers. Swim brands like Venroy ($119 retail for trunks) are selling because they offer very different prints.
On how to make business better: It’s hard to compete with the big guys, so we need more independently owned stores to help it grow.

Kaila Magnone, Michael Magnone, Chris Magnone and Sabrina Silvestri, TM Fashion Group

TM Fashion Group
Michael and Chris Magnone’s father was a denim manufacturer in the ’90s, so the brothers “grew up in the industry,” spending summers working in the warehouse and learning the business. They launched TM Fashion Group in 2005 as a full sales and distribution company. Now with sister Kaila and Chris’s wife Sabrina, the company touts a 10,000-sq.-ft. facility, selling brands like Handstich, Circle of Gentlemen and Berwich.
On how to make business better: MM & CM: Specialty stores should continue to expose their customers to new brands. We are living in a world where consumers are constantly stimulated thanks to social media; they need the same excitement and stimulation at retail to keep them coming back. Ultimately we can’t let our customers settle for looking like everyone else. Men need to develop their fashion identities.
On what the industry is doing right: MM & CM: The men’s market is evolving, albeit sometimes slowly. Stores that have been around for generations are bringing in fresh eyes to help bridge the gap for the next generation of shoppers. It’s a very exciting time to be in the menswear industry; an appreciation for fashion that boasts quality that will stand the test of time is back.
On life outside menswear: MM: My hobbies revolve around family and wellbeing. Every chance I get I try to spend time with my new son.
CM: I love traveling, playing sports and cooking.
KM: Painting and anything outdoors.

Lougè Delcy, Dapper Lou

Lou Delcy
Lougè Delcy got his start in fashion as a stylist, but he quickly transitioned into photography because he wanted to have more control over the content. He founded Dapper Lou in 2009 as a medium to, “share his perspective of menswear.” He adds, “The website has allowed me to photograph, cast models, style and direct my projects which has helped my vision. The internet has really been a great outlet to share my work because people want to be inspired.” Delcy says he now covers more than menswear on his site including things like culture, lifestyle, travel, food and art. “The idea is storytelling,” he says, “and documenting all things of interest without following the crowd. I also collaborate with a team of other photographers, poets and illustrators [to create content on the site].”
On his subjects: I typically photograph people who have a laid-back style because that’s what I tend to admire. Although once in a while, I’m drawn to something bold.
On his hobbies outside menswear: I love visiting the latest exhibitions at art galleries and museums, riding my bike around the city, daily bible reading, hosting gatherings at my house and traveling to different places.
On his favorite wardrobe item: My signature fedora because it goes with everything and the more I wear it, the more character it has.

Mark Bollman, Ball & Buck and American Field

Mark Bollman
Mark Bollman is the founder of Ball & Buck, an American-made menswear brand and retail store based in Boston. He also founded American Field, a traveling menswear market focused on American-made goods.
On fall 2015: The materials we use in our collections really drive our direction for the season and fall ’15 is no exception. Expect to see a healthy offering of waxed cotton, duck cloth, beautiful flannels, oxford cotton and full-grain leather.
On menswear in 25 years: Menswear will straddle a line between technology and quality.  Conscious consumerism will drive men to purchase quality products that tell a story and really represent who they are rather than just solving a need. At the same time, the advent of new technologies like 3D printing will enable people all around the world to have access to designer collections wherever they may live and even be able to create their own garments with the click of a button. As this new technology enables anyone to create garments with relative ease, the importance of brands baking quality into their products will be paramount.

Yuvi Alpert, Men in Cities

Yuvi Alpert
Yuvi Alpert says the idea for Men in Cities was selfish in nature. He could never find well designed men’s accessories, so he started making them himself. “You could find plenty of high-end designer products, but the ones with lower price points didn’t have the right quality.” And so Alpert created Men in Cities, an accessories brand inspired by his life in New York City and made with materials he sources from all over the world.
On what the menswear industry is doing right: The menswear business is beginning to make great strides, with more brands offering complete transparency and stepping outside the confines of the fashion calendar. More brands are behaving as innovative startups by incorporating technology into their business models and product offerings in a way that begins to seamlessly integrate with modern men’s lifestyles and needs.
On his hobbies outside menswear: I love to hike, play basketball and ride my bike all over the city. I travel whenever I can and I meditate for at least 20 minutes a day.

Thad Forrester and Paul Catlett, Hudson Hawk Barber & Shop

Paul Catlett and Thad Forrester
Thad Forrester and Paul Catlett, two Vidal Sassoon Academy-trained barbers, opened the first Hudson Hawk location in their hometown of Springfield, Missouri in 2013. Catlett had been running a hair salon called Studio 417 since 2000 when he and Forrester, a client, started talking about opening a classic barber shop. Now they have three locations with a unique and growing menswear component.
Thad Forrester on adding menswear to the barber shop: From the beginning we included a small selection of unique, made-in-the-USA accessories for men in addition to classic barber shop services. These included denim, hats, T-shirts, sunglasses, socks, belts and bow ties. Baldwin Denim is carried in our Farmers Park location and is being well received in Springfield. The key is educating them on the Baldwin brand story, the quality fabric, the tailored but comfortable fit, and the process of breaking in a pair of raw denim for the first time—a rite of passage for guys, or at least it should be.
Forrester on his style icons: As a barber, I check out looks from head to toe and it’s hard to beat Nick Wooster’s signature messy quiff and effortless style. Alton Brown is always on his game. Great at mixing patterns, wearing color well, and always has the right accessories; from a vintage watch to pocket square and bow tie, he is dialed in.
Paul Catlett on his favorite wardrobe item: My Baldwin Denim cardigan—impeccable fit and the most luxurious thick cashmere—it’s an awesome piece. —HS

Joe Gannon, Branding consultant and co-host of Made Right Here

Joe Gannon-websize
“I’m essentially a hobbyist,” Joe Gannon admits. “I’ve just had a vested interest in the clothes that I wore from age 10.” Gannon, who’s a chemist and biologist by day, has taken that passion and turned it into a rewarding side career helping brands and spreading the gospel about American manufacturing through a series of videos he co-hosts with Max Wastler, sponsored by Maxwell House Coffee.
On the Made Right Here series: We started in menswear before branching out to other mediums. Denim newcomer (at the time) Imogene and Willie, heritage workwear maker Pointer Brand and a small artisan belt maker in Tennessee named Billy Moore comprised the first three episodes we shot. We had always been enamored with the process, but we wanted to dig into the background of the people who were makers. Anyone who has worked in this industry knows what it takes to get things made. It’s not an easy task. We like to think we are shining a light on the behind-the-scenes, maybe opening the door into the human side of manufacturing.
On why former Delaware Rep. Bobby Quillen is one of his style icons: He was a guy who grew up in a small town just like me, a farm boy essentially, but he always wore penny loafers without socks, his pants were always perfectly hemmed, and he always wore a sportcoat (sometimes with a tie). His fit was perfect and I noticed it made people stop and listen to what he said. He took his personal style seriously and people took him seriously. Style is nothing without personality. —HS

Matt Rho, Pierre Lupesco and Anthony Lupesco, Shockoe Atelier

Matt Rho-Pierre Lupesco-Anthony Lupesco
Shockoe Atelier was launched as Shockoe Denim in 2012. Design is led by Anthony Lupesco and his father Pierre, a 40-year veteran of the luxury business, oversees production. Matt Rho, a former investment banker, joined the Lupesco family to run the business side. Shockoe’s jeans are handmade in Richmond, Va. and its jackets, overcoats and shirts are made in Italy.
On retailers that do it right: We’ve seen some stores that really do a wonderful job of creating a warm, inviting atmosphere that makes it easy for men to engage in this process, places like MartinPatrick3 in Minneapolis, Context in Madison, Wisconsin and Taylor Richards & Conger in Charlotte. These are the stores who are on the frontlines of this menswear renaissance we’re seeing right now.
On their favorite wardrobe items: Anthony: Natural-colored jeans from our AW15 collection. The fabric is an unseeded, undyed selvedge from Collect Mills. There are layers and layers of texture in these jeans.
Pierre: Charcoal and red plaid alpaca overcoat from Shockoe’s AW15 collection. It’s the perfect marriage of really gorgeous fabric with exceptional craft and construction.
Matt: I picked up a Belstaff Roadmaster jacket about 10 years ago, before the brand was relaunched by Harry Slatkin. From fall to spring, it’s a second skin. Lots of miles on this thing, and it just keeps getting better and better. —HS

Ernest Sabine, Ernest Alexander

Ernest Sabine
Ernest Sabine was in business school, working in the ad world, when he founded his brand Ernest Alexander. Unable to find a bag that fit his needs, Sabine says he “put some sketches together, purchased some fabric from local vendors, and began wandering the garment district, knocking randomly on manufacturers’ doors looking for someone to help me produce this vision for a messenger bag. From there, everything happened very organically; the assortment grew, I hired a team, and we built our website.” Now Ernest Alexander has become a full lifestyle collection with its own freestanding stores, wholesale accounts and a seasonal collaboration with Club Monaco.
On how to make business better: Exposure. For the longest time, women’s fashion brands always received much more attention. Style authorities and media devoted little time to talking about men’s designers, but now there’s a new breed of guys who are taking an interest in discovering brands and buying merchandise that fits their aesthetic. Even the growth of menswear bloggers has accelerated, making men’s fashion and style a much more culturally relevant topic for guys. I do feel we’ve only scratched the surface of this industry, and the more exposure we continue to see in media can only help the menswear business continue.
On his style icons: There are always figures who inspire me when I’m sketching or creating a collection, but it’s a mix of various stylish men of the past. I love old American literary figures and movie stars like Ernest Hemmingway, Gary Cooper and Jack Lemmon.
On his hobbies outside menswear: I love the outdoors: hiking, canoeing, skiing. Growing up in New England, I always had easy access to all these activities. Now living in NYC, it’s a bit more difficult to find that “escape,” but I do it as often as I can.


Read more stories from MR’s 25th Anniversary issue, including the 25 Characters feature.

One Reply to “MR’s 25th Anniversary: 25 On the Rise”

  1. Nice pictures and nice content.
    We are a little retailer in the Netherlands and we sell a lot of dress shirts.
    We are selling Eton, Circle of Gentlemen, John Miller, etc.
    We are also unique with our sleeve7 collection. especially made for long people
    Thanks for the input.
    x Mike

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