{08.28.13} Profiles & Features

Behind the Seams

Alex Mill

Gingham shirt for men, $145 and boys, $95

    The brand just opened a small shop in a former bakery in Manhattan's Nolita neighborhood.
    268 Elizabeth St., New York, NY

Sons don't have it easy when it comes to following in their father's footsteps. On the one hand, there's an onus there to forge their own path, and on the other, some dads have really big shoes to fill. Imagine what it's like to be the son of merchant mogul Mickey Drexler—the man who turned brands like Gap and J.Crew into multimillion dollar giants. That's every day for Alex Drexler, the 35-year-old founder of Alex Mill, a new line of comfortably rugged well-made basics for stylish guys ... and their sons. The collection has been picked up by shops like Unionmade, Odin and Barneys, and he also just opened a New York flagship, so we caught up with the younger Drexler to talk about the brand, the benefits of a personal uniform and what he's learned from his father.

Tell us about the philosophy behind Alex Mill.

The whole idea started with trying to find the perfect woven shirt with the right fabric, fit and details. And if you found a great shirt one season, you could never find the same one again. That evolved from just one shirt to the man's uniform. And the brand is based on the uniform—a shirt, T-shirt and jeans. In the morning, men don't want all these choices. They want to find the right piece and once they find it, they want to buy multiples of it. That's why all Alex Mill shirts have one fit and all Alex Mill jeans have one fit. It's about the straightforward men's uniform.

Easy-wearing essentials are definitely something your dad touts at his day job. Are there any business or style tips you've gleaned from one of the most successful men in the industry?

One critical business practice I've learned is about respect and how you treat others. My father's always respected those around him. It seems simple enough, but I find that it's often missing. On that same note, fairness and honesty are principles I aim to follow as well—not only on the job but personally as well. In terms of style tips, he'd say keep it simple and not over do it.

Your pieces are simple, but with interesting details, stitching and unique buttons. Are you a stickler for the little things?

I love the little details and I think they make the garment. It's not something every guy notices immediately, but I love discovering those details when I wear a shirt. We use a variety of buttons—from real mother of pearl to Corozo to military style buttons—and they make a big difference. Of course, as I always say, if the fit isn't comfortable or there's not quality there, it doesn't matter what the details are. Which is why we constantly push for the highest quality construction and fabrics in each piece.

And speaking of little things ... What made you do a boy's range?

Alex Mill is based on the idea of father-and-son, and that's why we make things for men, but also shrunken down for kids. Style starts young, boys like to dress like their fathers, and pretty much everything looks good miniature.




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