Alex Mill Opens Shop at 77 Mercer Street in New York
Alex Mill officially will open a new store Saturday at 77 Mercer Street in New York.Founded by Alex Drexler in 2012, Alex Mill already has a store on Madison Avenue and 87th Street, which it opened in December. A little over a week ago, it closed a 3,000-square-foot unit across the street from the store on Mercer, which it had since early 2020.
“It’s our first bi-level store. The new space became available and it gives us a more concise customer experience,” said Somsack Sikhounmuong, cofounder and design director, who joined Drexler in the business in 2019, having worked at J. Crew for 16 years. Alex’s father, Mickey Drexler, became the company’s chief executive officer in 2021.
Sikhounmuong said the new store’s configuration allows them to show “the full breadth of the collection,” and to emphasize core pieces, such as the work jacket, the men’s shirts and jumpsuits.
Designed by artist Mary Matson, whose whimsical paintings and sketches have been part of the Alex Mill story, the space is grounded by utilitarian furniture and props that speak to the workwear influences in which the Alex Mill core collection is grounded.
The 2,500-square-foot shop has white walls and peg boards, alongside wooden floors and modular display units punctuated with pops of the brand’s signature colors of red, navy and pale blue. Other decor elements are bespoke artwork, such as a handmade quilt that echoes Alex Mill’s ethos “guaranteed to never go out of style.” Campaign images line the walls as well as portraits of the brand’s team. A hot dog stand with an umbrella made from upcycled Alex Mill shirting fabrics acts as a cash wrap.
The cash wrap resembles a hot dog stand.
Sikhounmuong’s ceramics are used for the weekly flower arrangements, and Quiet Town, the New York-based accessories label, has designed and created the changing room curtains using their proprietary garment-dyed canvas. With keen attention to detail, the changing room curtains have embroidery that has sayings such as “Uniforms for Individuals.”
The first floor mostly houses the seasonal collection, with the basement dedicated to a jumpsuit store and accessories space as the brand expands its bag and shoe offering. Overall, prices in the store range from $45 to $255, with the sweet spot being $140.
In celebration of the opening, an exclusive partnership with Paris-based vintage store Brut Archives will offer 200 pieces of their specialty vintage lines available in the U.S. for the first time, alongside a small collaborative capsule collection, all made in their Paris atelier. The line, which will arrive Wednesday, features the Alex Mill tote bag, Brut work jacket and bucket hat styles decorated with their hand-sourced vintage and custom patches.
Although the brand began as a men’s business, in 2019, when Sikhounmoung joined, and then in 2021, when Mickey Drexler became CEO, they started building up the women’s. The breakdown in the new store is now 57 percent womenswear, and 43 percent menswear.
On the lower level, the focus is on different styles of jumpsuits, which Drexler called “The 15 Second Outfit,” and there’s a neon sign on the lower level that says that. The jumpsuits range in price from $168 for the shorts one to $225.
The lower level is dedicated to jumpsuits and accessories.
Drexler said the key to all their designs is to “wake up, get dressed and don’t overthink it.”
Right now, the company does wholesale business with stores such as the Mohawk General Store in Los Angeles, Stag in Austin, and Net-a-porter, among others. Drexler said he’s not looking to expand wholesale at this point. Its website started selling internationally last month.
The company has a smattering of accessories, including tote bags, footwear, baseball hats and socks. For men, it carries third party sneakers and some suede wallabees. Women’s footwear is manufactured in-house and includes flats.
The footwear and tote bag display on the lower level.
According to Drexler, the collection is manufactured mostly in China and the U.S., while the shoes are made in Italy.
One of the interesting things that Alex Mill does is take surplus goods and rework them into something new. The brand doesn’t put anything on sale, and instead gives new life to surplus styles under its Rework program.
As part of its totes offering, it’s carrying one that is made of leftover sailcloth from Quiet Town. They use Quiet Town’s surplus sailcloth and Alex Mill’s shape and design. Totes range from $135 for the small one to $185 for the big one.
Asked what he attributes the popularity of the jumpsuit to, Sikhounmuong said, “It’s definitely a cool factor and also the practicality.”
Discussing where they’d like to see the next retail store, Drexler said, “We’re not in a rush but want to find the right location.” He said the previous Mercer store “was doing well. This is a much better space.”
Going forward, the brand plans to add more denim for fall, as well as cashmere sweaters and cashmere beanies. They’ve also got a three-piece corduroy suit for fall and a tweed jacket.