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Ali Shops Blog

Archive for the ‘Men's Fashion’ Category


Friday, November 4th, 2011

The organizers of super cool, super successful American-made menswear pop up NorthernGrade are ready for winter. Their fans want another market, and they’ll get it–February 18. SnowGRADE, like its summertime brother, will take place at Architectural Antiques, organized by the folks from Pierrepont Hicks and J.W. Hulme, who certainly know how to throw a shopping party. Think: firepit, hot toddies and a small, well curated assortment of heritage brands. And if we have to snowshoe to get there, it will only add to the mystique.

A Pierrepont Hicks Collab

Friday, October 28th, 2011

The man who cares enough to wear a Pierrepont Hicks tie needs an equally stylish travel case to keep them fresh. This week marks the debut of the McMillan tie case, a collaboration between leather specialists Moore and Giles and Minneapolis-based neckwear brand Pierrepont Hicks. The zip-around case has two elasticized leather straps to hold up to four ties. The silk fabric interior is a complement to Pierrepont’s first collection of classic silk ties. It features their royal blue and red signature pattern and highland cow logo. The case retails for $185 and is now available for order at or at martinpatrick3. (I totally picture George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air using this case. Okay, fine, I just picture George Clooney in general.)

P.S.: Mark the calendar: Pierrepont is planning a Holiday Pop Up Sale with fellow Minnesota heritage brands Faribault Woolen Mills and J.W. Hulme Co., 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1, 323 W. 48th St., Mpls.

Askov Finlayson

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Photo by Katherine Harris

If you can’t get in to Marvel Bar, buy a shirt at Askov Finlayson to better your odds. The achingly hip new store completes a trifecta for the Brothers Dayton, Eric and Andrew, who also own and operate The Bachelor Farmer restaurant and uber-hot Marvel Bar in the same historic North Loop building. Named for neighboring Northern Minnesota towns that share an exit on Highway 35, Askov Finlayson caters to the classically styled (emphasis on styled) man as well as contemporary design enthusiasts with apparel, jewelry, gifts, and home accessories from quality brands both local and international, including Barbour and Wm. J. Mills & Co. North Loop shopping just keeps getting cooler. 200 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-206-3925

Scenes from NorthernGRADE

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

All the cool kids (and men in dress shirts and slim shorts) came out for the second annual NorthernGRADE men’s market at Architectural Antiques in Northeast Minneapolis. A few of my favorite finds:

First look at the re-opened Faribault Woolen Mills – selling authentic army blankets. (Super soft and warm!)

Fall 2011 from Pierrepont Hicks, including the new silks (right), featuring the company crest.

Isn’t he a doll? That strapping former NFLer is Gibran Hamdan. He could be sportscasting or coaching, but he’s got a passion for fashion. So he put on a vest and brought his Alial Fital shirts to NorthernGRADE.

Charmed by this brand new Chicago-based company, Buckshot Sonny’s selling high-quality, retro sportsgear. The two mustachioed gentleman behind the brand made their worldwide debut at NorthernGrade, selling packs, trucker caps, t-shirts and gear for guys who may or may not hunt, fish and play ball – but who appreciate the old-school All-American vibe.

And then there was this guy – WCCO’s sharp shopper, Jason DeRusha, trying on Stormy Kromer caps. Perfect for those blustery Man on the Street interviews…

NorthernGRADE Men’s Market

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Having modern classic fashion brands like J.W. Hulme Co. and Pierrepont Hicks based in the Twin Cities makes us look good. The two teamed up again to produce the second annual NorthernGRADE men’s market today at Architectural Antiques in Northeast Minneapolis. If you wear bow ties, fitted plaid shirts, slim denim and Red Wing boots – generally all at once – or appreciate men in them, this shopping event is worth hitting. There will be live music, food and spirits, and of course, shopping. NorthernGRADE brings together iconic American-made brands new and old, including Red Wing Shoe Co., Duluth Pack, Stormy Kromer and Taylor Stitch. Go to support them. Go for the people watching. Go to get your man out of pleated khakis. And go to celebrate the cool, creative companies that make Minnesota their home – and the others from around the country that come to be associated with this movement.

NorthernGRADE, Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at Architectural Antiques, 1330 Quincy St. N.E., Mpls.

Shops Is About To Drop

Friday, August 26th, 2011

I’m extremely excited to reveal the 2012 cover of Shops, featuring six Twin Cities men as charming as they are stylish. (It’s a rough job I’ve got, I know.) We go beyond the necktie to show you a side of Frank Vascellaro you just don’t get on the evening news – premium denim and all. He’s joined by salon owner Denny Kemp, businessman Tom Wicka, celeb bodyguard provider Elijah Shaw, my favorite young Timberwolves player Wes Johnson, and musician Jeremy Messersmith – how can you not love a rocker who rocks a bow tie? Inside the issue, you’ll also find fall fashion, cool products, beauty tips, celebrity shopping haunts, and updated listings of more than 800 local stores. Shops is included with the September issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Don’t go shopping without it!

At our cover shoot at Room & Board…

How to take the tension out of an interview: conduct it on a bed…

Kuhlman Resurfaces as Scott James

Monday, March 7th, 2011

You just can’t stop Minneapolis resident Scott Kuhlman from making men’s clothes. He made a name for himself in 2006 with simple, fashion forward men’s shirt stores. The chain quickly spread across the country, and just as quickly, crumbled, having over-extended. Kuhlman dusted off his flat front khakis, and started again in 2009 with s.kuhlman. Similar concept: European-styled men’s dress clothes at affordable price points, but a different business model. He opened a store in the Warehouse District…and then we didn’t hear much more. Until now. Kuhlman sold the company to Hampshire Group last May. Because there is another Scott Kuhlman with a clothing store in Seattle (go figure), they decided to rebrand as scott james (Kulhman’s middle name). Kuhlman says the new company is selling to specialty stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and soon, overseas.  ”The brand still represents the core I have always stood for: A European aesthetic, with great quality, and a price that is attainable.” Shirts sell for $75-$95. Shop scott james online.

Blown. Away.

The new ID/Inside Design and martinpatrick3 are, quite simply, stunning. This is just the urban lifestyle laboratory Minneapolis has needed to finally make the Warehouse District a shopping destination. You won’t just want to buy the furniture and menswear, you’ll want to soak it in – to become this effortlessly cool human who wears Fred Perry shirts and Naked & Famous jeans, carries a bright blue Marc Jacobs messenger bag and flips through photography books on a Ligne Roset chair. At least the store invites  lingering. There’s even a manly bar.

Owner Greg Walsh of Walsh Design Group has always been respected for his interior design work, but these stores reveal his true talent, which goes beyond pairing the right chair and lamp to cultivating a mood at once luxurious and laid back; modern and timeless. And then, having all the brands and objects needed for those who aspire to aesthetic. “It feels like Soho,” I heard shoppers gushing on Saturday. Who needs Soho? Walsh has raised the bar for Twin Cities retail – let’s hope others join him.

Visit ID/Inside Design and martinpatrick3 at 212 Third Ave. N., Mpls. (across the street from the Monte Carlo).

Jake’s jacket

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Patagonia got a nice bit of pre-holiday publicity courtesy of love-struck Jake Gyllenhaal, who was with Taylor Swift on the Dec. 13 cover of UsWeekly wearing the Patagonia Down Sweater. Ryan Seacrest gushed about the “good lookin’” jacket after seeing the pictures of Jake – and one of his sidekicks bought it for him for Christmas. He won’t be the only one: Patagonia has been receiving numerous inquiries about the jacket, which comes in several colors and is a longtime favorite for the brand. It sells for $200 -  and that’s what Jake must have paid. “We don’t put clothing on people,” said Ellen Grady, manager of the St. Paul Patagonia store. Jake shops both New York locations – especially the store on the Upper West Side, Grady said.

Despite its down fill, the jacket isn’t quite warm enough for shoveling snow in Minnesota…but it is apparently perfect for a winter stroll with a young country music star.

Patagonia Men's Down Sweater, $200

Uber Outlet holiday plans

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Uber Outlet scored a major shipment of fine menswear from clubby luxury brand House of Carrington. Enough so that the former store turned pop-up retailer has decided to return to regular hours through the December – open every Wednesday evening, 5 to 8 and Thursday-Saturday, 10 to 5. Men’s pants, originally priced as high as $325 are down to $89.95 – with two for one specials. Ladies, just wait – the outlet is planning a Black Friday sale that will include deals on women’s cashmere, too. Uber Outlet is at 6015 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved