It's my loss that my first visit to Supply & Advise was later and not much sooner. A pop-up in Miami’s midtown area, it is the shop that houses the kind of merchandise I've long sought; quality, no frills pieces that are guaranteed only to improve with age. Undeniably, the inventory is superb and imaginative.
A credit to founders Jonathan Eyal and Kevin Beltran who, irritated and frustrated by the paucity of menswear options in Miami, carved out this welcome oasis. "It's what this city needed," says Eyal.
Admittedly, fashion in South Florida is often associated with color, and prints, in-keeping with the joviality the area exudes. That said, for the gentleman or men who yearn for pared down, handcrafted pieces, the options were limited to internet shopping.
Not just hand crafted pieces, here’s the bonus, almost all the merchandise boasts “Made in theU.S.A.” tags. Among the top vendors the shop carries are Gitman Vintage oxfords and Alden, the venerable shoe company. Eyal and Beltran found they shared a love of many of the same brands, the majority of them just happened to be American.
While tailored menswear has deep roots in England and Italy, Eyal argues that America really perfected the casual, durable pieces, especially denim. Levi's Vintage is among the denim brands carried at the shop.
Levi's Vintage denim is made to same specifications as the original run, from decades earlier
"It happened organically," Beltran says of the store's inventory of domestically made products. "Made in the U.S.A is our focus, but we want to carry the best."
Alden is among the best. From experience, I can attest to Alden’s stature in men’s footwear. Established in 1884, Alden has a rich history of superior craftsmanship and consistent quality. This, and an extensive list of rave reviews sealed my proclivity for Alden over many other better known-outside the menswear world-brands. It's a quiet brand that lets quality take center stage. A lifetime guarantee helps, too.
The Alden wall
“Hand-construction” is almost always synonymous with costly. And people often are taken aback by Alden’s price tag. Furthermore, in a city like Miami, a higher price tag often comes with a prominent, well-marketed logo.
"Miami is very status oriented," notes Eyal. One of the challenges with customers new to the brands is relaying that concept of craftsmanship over label.
Take, for example, Gitman Vintage shirts. The Oxford, an American innovation, can be found at stores from J. Crew to Club Monaco. While I like my purchases from those stores, something never felt right when I paired them with a blazer. The Gitman Vintage shirt I tried stood the jacket collar test. It doesn't limp down (for want of a better expression) beneath the collars. Rather it stands up prominently due to the higher band and longer collar points. "The fit is amazing," agrees Eyal. "The collar is high enough where you can fit a tie."
That's precisely what the Eyal, Beltran and third member of the team, Miguel Diaz Pimentel, opt for; the oxford. Wrinkled, pressed, sleeves rolled up or down unbuttoned or with a tie, there a few wrongs ways to wear one.
Gitman Vintage oxfords
And while craftsmanship costs, there is an intrinsic relationship between cost and value. One staff member explained, there's an innate belief that a lower price tag equals savings. Oftentimes though, the savings is short term because an item of lesser quality has to be replaced in a much shorter time frame. Paying more once for a well constructed item is a long-term, better investment in your closet.
Bags by Klaxon Howl
As I chatted with an agreeable staff, I was impressed with their level of commitment, aggregate knowledge and passion for the concept of Supply. And I thought, how apropos; Supply and Advise. It’s what they do.
The Supply & Advise team: Miguel Diaz Pimentel, Jonathan Eyal, Kevin Beltran
Supply & Advise
3322 N. Miami Ave