⇾ How Pete Macnee Shops
⇾ Pete Macnee,
Founder of Adsum
His style is subtle and laid back ... much like his brand
In fashion, brands are typically chasing trends, hoping to go viral or collaborating with another brand that doesn't make sense. One company doing the complete opposite is Adsum. If the industry is going through a much-needed cleanse of overhyped streetwear, then Adsum offers a nice reset. The brand has spearheaded the “normcore” movement and seems to have unintentionally inspired a majority of the Instagram “fashion” explore page. In a nutshell, they make good shit that never goes out of style and will have you looking the coolest without wearing the loudest fit. And isn't that how we all should aspire to dress?
The man at the center of all this is founder and creative director, Pete Macnee. His style is subtle and laid back, much like the brand which is inspired by the cities and countryside of the American Northeast. The label is also known for its crazy comfy fleeces and well-designed athletic tees. Pete is a Mark McNairy alum and was a graphic designer for the brand. He gained his reference points and perspective from there, and it's evident through his brand today in their unique interpretation of traditional staples with a mix of technical outerwear and sportswear.
Pete's style leans more towards practicality—good jeans and an excellent down-fill jacket are two things in his current rotation. Besides having great taste, Pete has done an excellent job building a community with the brand. “Someone once said that Adsum is 'friends with trends,'” he tells me. “We make clothing that comes from what truly inspires us day to day.” We caught up with Pete to talk about heritage brands, what his current mood board looks like and how he likes to buy meaningful things.
Describe your style
in five words or less.
Just simple and functional.
What are you shopping for
at the moment?
I'm ready to invest in bushes for my front yard.
You all have collaborations with Timex, Vans, Merrell and Reebok—all heritage brands in their own right. What made Adsum the ideal partner?
I'd like to think that since the inception of the brand, Adsum's storytelling has been consistent and appeals to brands—like the ones you mentioned. We try to be authentic to the core values we wrote down early on. All brands we collaborate with must share those values for the collaboration to make sense. Adsum is an excellent value to global brands because of how nimble we can be with creativity. Product design, creative assets and ideas come from our small, dedicated team.
$70 by Adsum
You were a graphic designer earlier in your career. Does that come in handy when coming up with T-shirt concepts?
T-shirt designing is shared with Christian Rice, a founding partner of Adsum and our Art Director. He is a jack of all trades when it comes to anything design related. Christian has a natural style when doing tee graphics that have become part of Adsum's DNA. My graphic designing years before Adsum was for Mark McNairy. His inspiration and reference points were very similar to my own. We clicked on everything from art, music and design. He taught me to have conviction in a design I care about. I helped design a tee for him that said “Shitty T-Shirt” in college block. He loved it.
If someone were to take a snapshot of your mood board, what would that look like right now?
You would have to squint to see it. Everything is on my computer and will soon get pinned up to boards in the office. Our boards are usually a mix of fabrics and cuttings from magazines, books or printouts. We used to be caught up with having very focused creative concepts for each season, but our creative ideas are starting to overlap and connect with the overall brand ethos. Every season we begin with two creative jump-off points, then it moves to color and styles.
What are you most proud of since launching in 2015?
I'm proud of everyone—past and present—who has put in hard work for Adsum since we launched the brand. I'm proud of our current team and my long-standing partners, Christian and Matt. Since day one, we have wanted to grow the brand slowly and authentically, which I hope is true for our customers.
Mesh flower cap,
$71 by DANCER
Any brands you’re
watching right now?
adidas, DANCER and Nitty Gritty Worldwide.
$385 by Adsum x Nanga
What’s one item that every man needs in his closet?
A real down-filled jacket.
What city has the best shopping?
I'm probably not the first one to say this ... Tokyo. I like to buy stuff that resonates with the area I'm visiting. Tokyo is great for menswear, but on recent travels, I tried to buy stuff I could bring home and enjoy, like art, ceramics and rugs. I try to buy a gift for my wife or son while traveling because I really appreciated a gift from my parents when they traveled somewhere.
Do you shop more online or in person?
These days, I'm shopping way more online.
Super grap overgrip,
$6.99 by Yonex
Do you ever buy things in multiples?
I used to buy Brooks Brothers Supima cotton boxers in multiples, but they changed the main body fabric from rib knit to a jersey knit which changed how they fit, so I'm currently looking for a new boxer. Most other things I buy in multiples are home-related (soap, incense) or sport-related (Yonex overgrip, boxes of energy gels).
Which do you experience more: Buyer’s remorse or regret for not buying something?
Oh, definitely regret for not buying something.
I like being extravagant with food and drink in my home kitchen. Less so dining out—rather finding good meat, cheese, wine and olive oil.
What is something you refuse to spend a lot for?
Bulk production freight expenses for Adsum.
What’s one shopping hack that you can let everyone know about?
Buy stuff that you care about deeply. Don't buy stuff that you don't care about just because it's a trend or it's on sale. You can't care about everything, so quietly figure out what you care about.