Editor’s Note: Welcome to In My Cart, a regular series in which we ask some of the coolest guys we know what they’ve recently acquired, are thinking about buying, or need to buy more of — but for whatever reason don’t have in hand just yet. This week, Somsack Sikhounmuong, former J.Crew designer and current creative director of Alex Mill.
Somsack Sikhounmuong knows a thing or two about wardrobe essentials. For 16 years, he worked for the apparel powerhouse J.Crew, defining the company’s voice with successive roles as head of design for Madewell, head of women’s design for J.Crew and chief design officer for J.Crew. After leaving the company in 2017, he stepped into the role of creative director at Alex Mill, a company originally launched in 2012 by Alex Drexler.
Drexler’s father Mickey, the former CEO of J.Crew Group, is an investor and strategic advisor in the newly reimagined brand, which, under Sikhounmuong’s direction is offering a range of quintessential garments for men and women. With classic designs and affordable prices, these essentials are poised to become quick favorites.
We caught up with Sikhounmuong shortly after the release of his debut spring collection. It’s no surprise that the products he’s currently considering reflect his design aesthetic. From the perfect t-shirt to a book on American icons, his list is loaded with tasteful, functional products and elevated classics. Let him explain why.
Alex Mill Tri-Color Striped Tee
“I’m pretty sure I could start my own vintage shop with all the stripe tees I’ve collected through the years. I don’t, however, own one like this: classic, but not boring; subtle, but still special. In my opinion, it’s the perfect tee.”
Alex Mill All-Terrain Short
“These shorts will be part of my go-to uniform this summer. Easy, pull on and simple yet highly functional thanks to the Italian water-repellant cotton and some special details like the hidden phone pocket.”
Bata Heritage High Top Sneakers
“You can never have too many white sneakers. The gum sole on these guys give them a nice retro feel which is no surprise seeing how they are a reissue of the 1964 Baltimore Bullets sneaker from Bata.”
Prince Street Pizza Spicy Spring Pie
“Just when I thought you couldn’t improve on a classic, I think Prince Street Pizza just might have.”
Fallingwater Rising by Franklin Toker
“This is my current read. It’s been pretty cool learning more about these two American icons: Frank Lloyd Wright and Fallingwater.”
Front General Store
“We partnered with Front General Store at Alex Mill for Spring ’19 — its one of my fave vintage stores in NYC. There’s an amazing assortment of cool vintage classics, all edited with a strong point of view.”
“I’ve been a huge fan of Rene [Holguin] and RTH for a very long time — his store in LA is a must visit for me. It’s always consistent, and never boring.”
Beautycounter Counterman Charcoal Body Bar
“I’m a soap and water kind of guy, so when the team at Beautycounter introduced a line of mens products, this charcoal bar became my go-to!”
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