Making Modern Classics Into Everyday Wearables: Buck Mason simplified menswear in a time when guys were being bombarded by ever-changing styles, trends, and options.
It's been the greater part of a decade since I first met Sasha and Erik, founders of one of GQs favorite brands, Buck Mason. I was on the hunt for a new position in the only industry I knew at the time and after having visited their tiny shop off the main vein of Abbott Kinney in Venice, California, I had attained a second interview. I met them in their newly acquired downtown loft - think oversized rectangular space with gridded glass windows. The spaces' concrete floors were sparsely sprinkled with a couple of desks, a few chairs, and randomly placed clothing samples all of which fit Buck Mason's perfect color palette that are still in style to this day, something they take seriously to give the modern gentleman a means to an effortless wardrobe.
I could tell they were hard workers. They exuded an energy of exhaustion, one that only comes from having a deep passion for what it was they were building and putting everything into that thing, a positive individual place I think we all strive for. They were both stylish in a just-off-the-ranch type way but less country. Like how a few of their stores are now decorated, they both emanated Buck Mason style - a modern ranch hand that drives a g-body 911 and appreciates the finer things of a present-day gentleman.
After the pleasantries were out of the way, we began discussing what I was looking for and what goals they were after. Our meeting was during their start-up years of operations so they were still a very young company, but I could tell they had big plans - and this was before they got picked up by GQ. I got the sense that they wanted to be the king of classics, and to this day, I believe they are well on their way to achieving that status.
Their first collection included tees and jeans, two things every guy (and now girl - they make womenswear as well) can stand behind. But they are different because "...Obsessed with quality, they worked closely with a local family factory to create small batch production runs, crafting each piece using old school manufacturing techniques combined with modern technology....[They] make fashion less complicated, building each piece to last beyond a single season. Each design is a riff on an iconic American staple, combining to make a useful and effortless wardrobe. Consistency in fit, fabric and quality guide this hands-on approach." And they do this all with being transparent in their processes.
Buck Mason simplified menswear in a time when guys were being bombarded by ever-changing styles, trends, and options. They streamlined what it is every guy needed in their wardrobe and made things that lasted, both in manufacturing and in style. And although their classics come at a higher price point, they seem to follow the ethos that we do here at Barnato, "It's all about the make..." or simply put, buy nice or buy twice. We see the value in things that are built well and built with longevity in mind. Items like those are things that allow us to live a certain lifestyle we enjoy.