“What are you wearing?”
Preferred icebreaker of red-carpet interviewers, 900-number operators and yours truly — at least when we’re talking to one of the buzziest names in NYC menswear.
The name? Alex Drexler, son of J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler and founder of Alex Mill, a Nolita-based line of high-quality, heritage basics for fathers and sons.
His answer to our question? All things Japanese, where crispy oxfords, no-nonsense basics and some of the best denim on the planet reign supreme.
Herein: five of the under-the-radar brands that Drexler loves best to help you get properly acquainted.
Hailing from the “jean capital” of Japan, Kapital is based out of Kojima Kurashiki, renowned for their diligent craftsmanship and traditional production methods. The aesthetic is vintage, the designs anything but.
Natic stands for Naval Technique Innovative Concept. Apt name. With a cut-and-sew line inspired by classic naval gear, Natic utilizes indigo, white, grey and the primaries deftly, almost like an eastern Nautica.
Known for their technical outerwear, Nanamica makes garments hearty enough to withstand a day of hard work, but snazzy enough you can wear them to the bar without being compared unfavorably to your grandfather.
Clean, premium, unique. Inspired by the military and men who work with their hands, Nonnative culls their goods from down-to-earth elements to produce functional, fashion-forward wares.
Clothing crafted with slow care and painstaking attention to detail. With a focus on jeans and trousers, orSlow peddles army-influenced workwear with a modern feel and a classic fit. The look is simple, the construction superior.