The Staff
of Valet.

The Burkman Brothers Spice Up Menswear


Ben and Doug Burkman, the Canadian-born brothers behind Burkman Bros., bolted out the gate this season with a debut collection quickly gaining a cult following.

The look of the line is preppy yet relaxed, with what Doug calls "just an eyedropper of the exotic." An American in Calcutta, if you will. Which is just where the root of this collection began.

The boys, who until recently were designing for the Gap, often took trips to India and Asia sourcing madras and developing fabrics. Their natural wanderlust kept them coming back, gathering up inspiration and soon they were working on a business plan while simultaneously sketching out the collection.

"The Gap was really great schooling for us," says Ben. "It honed our skills and introduced us to a lot of great sources, which has allowed us to design fabric that's not only amazing in quality, but exclusive to us."

That means shirts crafted from hand-loomed madras, washed for lived-in feel. A stand-out piece this season is a pair of shorts lined in a butter-soft cotton oxford cloth. This, according to designers, will be a signature going forward. Next fall, look for flannel shirts lined in the material.

"You can roll it up, show it off or just enjoy the feeling," says Doug. It's two looks for the price of one. Which brings up another good point about the line—you can afford it. Nothing in the collection will cost you more than $200.

Get It

Oxford-lined shorts, $175
Lightweight cotton shirts, $160

Burkman Bros. is available at Barneys (and Co-Op) stores nationwide; Bergdorf Goodman, New York; Ron Herman, Los Angeles

Ben and Doug's Guide to India

Oberoi Grand, Calcutta
"Old world charm, a fantastic staff and a tropical pool make it the perfect escape after the hustle and bustle of the Old City." (Rooms from $120 a night)

Malabar Junction, Fort Cochin
"An amazing outdoor restaurant serving serving the best mix of east meets west cuisine." ($13-$24 an entree)

The Backwaters of Kerala
"Rent a houseboat (with a staff) or just take a tour of the waters, it's the best experience." ($15 per person, for a boat tour)


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