Aaron Levine is a salt of the Earth kind of guy. With no industry connections, the Virginia-native started out in sales for Joseph Aboud and went on to become the designer who put the cool in Hickey Freeman's preppy-with-an-edge line Hickey. After a chance meeting with Rogues Gallery's founder Alex Carleton, he's now the label's new creative director.
How'd the new gig come about?
I was at a party and this guy comes up and says 'Hey, nice boots.' It was Alex and we just became fast friends. Every once in a while, we'd exchange photos of old Land Cruisers or stuff we found inspiring. Then one day, he called me up and was like, 'We should work together.'
So, how has Alex's role changed?
He's got a lot of irons in the fire, so he basically said, 'This'll be your thing,' which was pretty much the greatest thing I've ever heard. I went up to Maine and they're just the coolest, low-key people with a real love of the craft. It's such a refreshing way to work.
What are you working on?
Right now, I'm focusing on construction and fit, turning up the dial a bit on the details. But it's not about making Rogues preppy or designer-y. It's about staying true to this rich heritage and not saying words like tailored or sartorial. Nothing's precious. Just wear it until there's holes in it, you know?