Ones to Watch: Faherty

by Elise Diamantini
Mike and Alex Faherty
Mike and Alex Faherty
Alex and Mike Faherty grew up surfing on the beaches of New Jersey. The twin brothers are the youngest of seven. (Their mom found out she was having twins three weeks before her due date!) “I was always interested in clothes,” says Mike. “As a kid, I actually looked forward to back-to-school shopping. What other kid can say that?” He majored in design at Washington University in St. Louis and designed for RRL. Alex took a different path, and after graduating from Yale, he began working in investment banking and private equity. Alex laughs and says, “It works out because I can’t design and he can’t do spreadsheets.”

The brothers launched Faherty for spring 2013, already in top doors like Barneys, Bloomingdale’s, Mario’s and The Mitchells Group of Stores. “The market is evolving to new, smaller brands,” says Alex. “We work with retailers on product seminars so they can tell our story to the customer. The guy buying Zegna suits for work needs casual clothes for the weekend, and that’s where we come in.”

Faherty is a lifestyle collection rooted in swimwear. Mike has developed a proprietary quick-dry, sustainable fabric used for shorts and swim. Plastic bottles are melted to create a resin that is spun into yarn. Sportswear is made from organic cotton; T-shirts retail from $65 to $75, polo shirts are $95, wovens from $135 to $145, double-faced wovens are $165, shorts are $135 and swim from $125 to $138. Spring 2015 focuses on interesting fabrics. “We’re working with Japanese mills to create exclusive yarns.” Mike elaborates, “We’re developing everything from scratch and doing things with weights and tensions; for example, we’re creating fabric that looks heavy but is actually super lightweight.”

Next up: the brothers are taking Faherty on the road, telling their story across America through their mobile “beach house” showroom. They’ve been traveling since April, stopping in various cities, hitting retailers like Stag in Austin and Bloomingdale’s in Santa Monica, and music festivals like Coachella, bringing that laidback luxury to their customers all summer long.