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Alex Drexler of Alex Mill on Redefining Men’s Basics

The Alex Mill collection is an effortlessly edited assortment of well-crafted button downs and accessories with simple cuts and silhouettes for a more laid back attitude. Known for its “wash & go” shirts, the brands’ weathered washes and slubbed pieces makes for a rustic yet modern feel that develops an ageless quality after each wear.

Designed by Alex Drexler, the whole idea behind Alex Mill was their conquest in trying to find the perfect shirt with the right fabric, fit, and details. “From the shirt, it basically evolved into the ‘men’s uniform,’” Drexler explained. “The men’s uniform——jeans or chinos, shirt, and t-shirt——is what many men gravitate towards on a daily basis. This idea of the man’s uniform and the essential pieces needed to complete his wardrobe.”

Drexler is a menswear pedigree, growing up with the retail head honcho, Millard “Mickey” Drexler who helped shape Gap and J.Crew. However, prior to launching his own label he worked in advertising and garment production.

Drexler said, “My father used to bring home clothing items for me from his trips overseas. I was never really fashion obsessed growing up but I always appreciated cool clothing and would get excited when he’d bring home cool items.”

For Spring ’15 Alex Mill continues to design key items that men need on a daily basis——styles that can become the foundation to their wardrobe. “We are exploring new quality fabrications such as indigo and rip stop fabric. Our rip stop fabric makes up two key items——the peak lapel blazer and the easy pant. Both have been very popular. Aside from that, we also placed a special emphasis on sourcing cotton linen and other lighter weight fabrics perfect for the season,” Drexler described.

He added, “One key element in our designs is that we try not to overly complicate things. We try to be straightforward and make it work for a variety of guys. However, while there is an element of straightforwardness, the garments are hardly basic. There are many small, considered details in each style whether it be trapunto stitching at the placket, mother of pearl buttons, or other special details.”

When it comes to designing the perfect shirt, Drexler noted that the first and foremost priority is picking out the right fabric then weight, finish, and the hand feel. He said, “People are very particular about denim and finding the right shirt that it’s critical the fabric is perfect. From there, I think it’s about the right wash. A rinsed denim shirt with dark denim is a totally different ballgame with the beat up stone washed denim shirt.”

His background in production, which includes five years at women’s label Gryphon, has become vital to the brand’s DNA. “I always say that the knowledge of manufacturing——and essentially how to make a shirt from the ground up——has been critical to launching Alex Mill,” he said.

The company will continue to collaborate with denim specialists OMNIGOD in a capsule collection of shirts and knits. Based in Japan, OMNIGOD owns factories and incorporates selvedge fabrics throughout the collection. This will be their second season together.

Drexler believes there is a scarcity of washed denim in the menswear market. “There’s nothing like a great washed pair of denim,” he quipped. “I think wash is so critical. It’s not easy to find a great washed of denim. One of our key objectives in the season is to continually develop our 5-pocket jean with great wash and finish. The jean is the ultimate element of the man’s uniform and washed denim is central to it.”

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