S&A: Undoubtedly, yes! It's one of the main reasons why we chose to open the store at all, and why Miami is the perfect base of operations for our shop. I've always had to resort to shopping online because menswear has been an afterthought for all of the local shops, rather than the main focus. No one offered staples from great American brands like Alden shoes, Gitman Brothers, Levi's Vintage Clothing, Filson, and Randolph Engineering-- to name a few, or exciting contemporary options from outstanding brands like Engineered Garments.
Up until now, Miami stores have embraced designer labels which could be characterized as more trendy rather than a style that is more focused on simplicity and quality. In addition, much of what's been presented to us is heavy on external branding and slick, rather than classic and timeless. Lastly, haute couture and items coming off the runway don't exactly have longevity and aren't really realistic for your average guy. And lets face it, what guy wants to go to the mall or a department store, anyway?
FSF: And why a store in Wynwood? How does this neighborhood elevate the store's profile?
S&A: Actually our temporary pop-up shop is in Wynwood but in the next few months we'll be making our permanent move to Downtown Miami, which is where we really feel our shop will be most at home. It's the only part of Miami that has the infrastructure and makings of an urban community and we're in love with it's remaining history and architecture. It's so reminiscent of NYC and Chicago and is in the midst of a major revitalization. There's a Whole Foods being built a block away, the new PAMM is down the street, galleries and other creative entities are also relocating and headed to Downtown. It's authentic and doesn't feel manufactured. Finally, Miami has realized that Downtown is a diamond in the rough. It's a living and working community and it's businesses like Fratelli Milano, Ten Fruits, Ceviche 105 that have really helped blaze the trail for an outfit like ours.
While we enjoy hanging out in Wynwood from time to time, currently, there just isn't the infrastructure, convenience or live-in community that would warrant calling it a full-fledged neighborhood. We're hoping that will change.
|Kick back in style. Interior shot of Supply and Advise.|
FSF: Jonathan Eyal comes from a military background. How does that unique fun fact contribute to the aesthetics and success of the store?
S&A: The military is an equalizer and a place where people of all races and socio-economic backgrounds come together as one. During WWII you had guys who came from blue collar backgrounds fighting along side guys who came from monied families and Ivy League pedigrees. There's a certain beauty in that and it's what our shop seeks to represent. I think what we do could be characterized as blue collar and Ivy League go off to war. This style we love comes from an appreciation of our history as Americans.We embrace the greatness of America and the post-war time when returning troops took to motorcycles, were afforded the opportunity to go to university on the GI Bill, and t-shirts and denim became part of our DNA.
As far as the aesthetic of the shop is concerned, I guess it comes naturally. The military vehicle, shell casings, and posters that decorate our shop are symbolic in that getting ahead in today's world is a war and looking good and taking pride in how you dress certainly won't hurt your chances at finding love or advancing in your job.
FSF: The store tends to stay away from trends and keeps the focus on timeless pieces for men. Why is it important for you guys to be selective?
S&A: While our focus is on those pieces that are classic and timeless, we do carry a variety of fun options as they're great to mix and match. We want our customers purchase pieces that will get lots of use and for that reason, we concentrate on the basics. Other criteria we use before making our selections are: Where are the goods made? What is the history behind these items? Does the cost make sense for our customer? And lastly, and most importantly, functionality and durability. If you're going to be spending the money to buy the best, we want you to have it and use it forever versus having to replace it every few years or finding it sitting in the back of your closet.
FSF: how has men's fashion evolved in the last few years, particularly in Miami?
S&A: Menswear has really exploded during the last few years and there's been a huge resurgence in men taking a great deal of pride in their wardrobes. Men (especially the ones in Miami) are realizing that quality and longevity trumps name brands which are usually just that-- a name.
I think Miami guys are realizing its OK to tuck in their shirts outside of work, it's okay to wear straight leg jeans and care about the way clothes should fit. We're slowly moving away from embellished & faux worn-in jeans to a more clean, simple look-- how it always should've been. It's not a trend, it's just how a man should dress. Neck wear, definitely has been making a comeback for some time and Miami is finally catching on to the fact that it's actually cool to throw on a tie or bow-tie outside of the office or a wedding. Bottom line- American males as a whole, are taking more and more pride in how they look and the pieces they're investing in, it's just taking us Miamians a little longer to get there.
FSF: If you had to chose one item in the store that every modern man should have in his closet, what should it be?
S&A: The White Oxford Cloth Button Down shirt from Gitman Vintage. Work, play, date night, meeting the parents, your girlfriend's cousin's daughter's baptism-- it works every time.
FSF: Is there an iconic man of style of present, past or future that encompasses the Supply and Advice definition?
S&A: Steve McQueen was a guy's guy who's style was effortless but always on point. And that's the goal-- it should be effortless, comfortable and classic.
FSF: You pride yourself in the durability of the brands you carry. How do you decide what to carry in the store?
S&A: This is most clearly exemplified by made in USA brand Alden Shoe Company out of Massachusetts. They've been around since 1884, are family owned, and spend all their money on their materials and workforce rather than on fancy magazine ads or celebrity spokespersons. It's a brand for people who appreciate quality rather than how they will be perceived by their peers. Little known fact- Alden invented the Tassel Loafer and is also responsible for the "Indy Boot", the iconic boots worn by Indiana Jones in all the films (specifically asked for by Harrison Ford.)
FSF: I'll tell you something. I'm tired of seeing the typical "Miami guy uniform" of button downs and jeans and square toe shoes. Will we EVER see an end to that? Is there hope for these guys?
S&A: Other outfits and items synonymous with the Miami "Bro" would be the all black look, designer shield style sunglasses, super deep V-neck tees, heavily embellished denim, bootcut denim, Gucci belt buckles the size of a hubcap, and shirts with prints on the underside of the cuffs. With regard to square toe shoes we're not Pilgrims and these were never cool. Get rid of them.. donate.. burn.. we don't care, just do it!
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Supply and Advise
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