Back in the days of the trade routes, when explorers would run goods like furs and spices across the ocean, having a middle man was a necessity. That dude had to know how to sail, how to navigate, and how to dispatch with Krakens and such. But these days, we’ve got the technology to order products directly from the manufacturer - without even risking scurvy. The age of the middle man is over, and these six companies are here to outfit you for the future.
The granddaddy of the direct-to-consumer fashion movement, Warby spread like wildfire when it was founded in 2010. With a universal price tag of $95 for any pair of vintage-inspired frames (including prescription lenses), WP is a breath of fresh air in a market that previously required you to give up your firstborn child to replace your grimy old specs. For each pair sold, the company also gives a pair of glasses to someone in need, so you can mark off your good deed of the day just by ordering a sweet pair of glasses or shades.
This San Fran-based outfitter cut its teeth on a few small, well-made basics, but has since expanded to full outfitter status with their newly launched shirt store. As an added bonus, Everlane tells you exactly what they pay to produce each item, and that transparency allows you to understand exactly what you are paying for. (It's clothes. You're mostly paying for clothes.)
Harry’s has a foolproof plan to keep your face baby-smooth (or calculatedly grizzled, if that’s your thing). Just sign up for their completely customized auto-refill program and the company will send you the prescribed amount of razors and shaving cream for your regimen every month. And their engraved sets make for a great, classy gift for your father-in-law, who will think you spent way more money on him than you actually did.
When it comes to footwear, we prefer to go straight to the maker. Beckett Simonon will not only deliver a great-looking shoe for considerably less than a retail store, they’ll craft it better, too. Their seasonally changing styles will keep you in the latest looks - and you've earned it, champ.
This retailer offers the best of the made-to-measure companies, plus a large variety of off-the-rack items, while keeping the quality comparable to most luxury brands. In fact, J. Hilburn sources a lot of the same Italian fabrics as the world's top designers. And everyone knows that the best stuff comes from Italy.
American Giant makes hoodies so magnificent that, in the past, there was more than a three-month waiting list to own one. These days, they've got a solid handle on demand and are able to produce enough “perfect hoodies” for all. And at just $89 for a full cotton zip-up that will last you for the rest of your life (or at least longer than some crappy poly-blend), who wouldn’t?
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