This past weekend I had the pleasure traveling north to Minneapolis, MN and attending NorthernGRADE, an Ad-Hoc Men’s Market, held at Architectural Antiques. This event, hosted by J.W. Hulme Co. and Pierrepont Hicks, was a showcase of great menswear vendors, who’s products are all made in the U.S.A.
The hosts made sure to invite an array of vendors, ensuring that all parts of a man’s wardrobe would be covered. The boys from Baldwin Denim, out of Kansas City, brought their expertise and extensive knowledge of fits and fabrics. Red Wing and Russell Moccasin made sure to have the best rugged footwear to be made in the U.S.A. J.W. Hulme Co. and Duluth Pack, both haling from Minnesota, had an assortment of bags that would rival any top Italian collection. MartinPatrick3, a local favorite, had a fine selection of vintage watches and some great pieces from Gitman Brothers. Pierrepont Hicks’ neckwear was a perfect match with the gents from Taylor Stitch. Cause and Effect rounded out the show with its handmade leather belts and accessories. (I’ll have more details on some of my finds in future posts.)
I feel that the event was a huge success, it filled a much needed niche by creating a venue that promotes and celebrates companies that strive to continue manufacturing high-quality goods here in the US. NorthernGRADE hit the proverbial nail on the head, combining both relatively new brands along with those that have been in the “American-Made” business for years. I only hope that the next year’s event grows larger with more companies that are willing to make the grade.