Mac and Katherine McMillan’s names have become synonymous with great, local fashion. The stylish duo is the power house behind not one, but two brands that celebrate Midwest makers: Pierrepont Hicks and Northern Grade.
The spark, however, didn’t originate entirely in the Midwest. It happened in Scotland while the pair was researching wool groomsmen ties for their wedding. The McMillans were left wondering why American ties were made mostly from silk. Instead of finding an answer, the pair set out on a mission to make a tie they could stand behind, and in 2009 Pierrepont Hicks was born.
- Fun Fact:
- Northern Grade
- Sunday, Nov. 10
- 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- At the Grain Belt Bottling House, hosted by
Askov Finlayson and BlackBlue
79 13th Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
- Founded by Pierrepont Hicks
Less than five years later their brand (which has expanded to outerwear and footwear) has gained traction nationally for dressing the modern man. But the stylish duo behind the Minnesota company didn’t stop at neckwear. Instead, they found a way to celebrate the best of the Midwest, by starting a pop-up shop dubbed NorthernGrade.
— Modern Midwest (@ModernMidwest) November 8, 2013
“Over the last
five years I have seen many of the larger, more established ‘heritage’ brands
integrated into mainstream style, which is great to see,” Mac McMillan said. “There
are also smaller and emerging brands with a lot of talent.”
In 2009 the McMillan’s held the first iteration of Northern Grade in Minneapolis to support the “brands in their backyard.” The duo brought Midwest makers from all disciplines (accessories and gadgets to apothecary and food) together under one roof.
“With technology and manufacturing in the United States creating a lower barrier to entry, a brand doesn’t have to be located in New York or Los Angeles to be recognized and successful,” McMillan said.
Since its start, Northern Grade has expanded to include pop-up shops in more than five cities. New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago, Seattle, and of course, Minneapolis, will likely be on the queue for 2014.
This Sunday catch some of the best Midwest brands as Minneapolis’ Grain Belt Bottling House is transformed into a hip pop-up. All we can say is welcome home Northern Grade. We’ve missed you.