Pierrepont Hicks was founded when a girl from Brooklyn met a guy from Minnesota. Now married, Mac and Katherine McMillan launched Pierrepont Hicks in 2009 out of a desire to make the perfect tie. After planning their wedding in Scotland and researching bold woolen ties for their groomsmen, they wondered why the American tie brands were mostly silks. They honeymooned in Croatia along the Adriatic Coast, and learned that the cravat was born there. The first collection of ties was well-received online, and it grew into a brand with a small but loyal following.
Now in its fourth year, Pierrepont Hicks will launch more products each season, including outerwear for both men and women, always remaining focused on accessories for life’s travels, adventures and celebrations.
What's the story behind the name Pierrepoint Hicks?
You mean Pierrepont Hicks? Ha ha. It’s actually the intersection where Kat grew up in Brooklyn, NY.
The brand started as a tie company and now you are making some of most well crafted moccasins and chukkas on the market. Was this the plan all along to evolve in such a grand way?
Not at all. We really didn’t have a plan when we started and our growth over the last few years has been very organic. While we are definitely more organized and focused now, in many ways, we still operate this way. We have a lot of ideas, but we don’t like to force anything. If we come up with a design for a new product or style and it just doesn’t gel the way we want it to, then it more than likely doesn’t make sense for us to move forward with. We will continue to evolve but how we do so is still somewhat unknown. We kind of like it that way.
The Track Vest that you are releasing later this month is easily one of my favorite outerwear pieces this season. Can we expect more great outerwear from PPH in the future?
The vests and parkas has been very well-received thus far, so yes, I would say we will for sure continue in this area.
How, in any way has living in Minnesota influenced your brand? Is there a certain Minnesotan style?
I think the outerwear is a perfect example of this influence. I wouldn’t say there is a specific Minnesota style, because I believe that style is so individual; however, with the longer winters; boots, coats, jackets are obviously a part of everyone’s wardrobe. Our outerwear is somewhat lightweight, but we added in some wool to deal with the Minnesota temperatures.
Northern Grade is something that you started in Minneapolis and your website has TBD dates for Japan and London. Is this the response you expected when you first started the pop-up fair?
We had no expectations and no plan. We just wanted to have an event in Minneapolis to celebrate some of the cool and like-minded people in the region. It was mainly to have fun and bring awareness to some amazing brands that people may have forgotten about or didn’t realize even existed. We did a few Northern Grade events in Minneapolis that were highly successful and it slowly morphed into other brands and friends around the country wanting to get involved. We ventured to Chicago in the fall of 2012, and after that we decided to bring it around the country in 2013. It’s been busy for sure, but the opportunity to develop personal relationships with amazing and talented brands around the country has been very special.
For this upcoming fall event, why did you choose Richmond as a host city?
Kat has family there, so we have spent quite a bit of time in Richmond over the last several years. There are a lot of great things happening in Richmond in terms of arts, culture, restaurants and creativity. We worked on the event with our friends at Need Supply and couldn’t have pulled it off without them. We were very happy and pleased by how Richmond embraced Northern Grade.
What are your 5 essentials for this upcoming fall season?
Of course, our vest is going to be a staple mark for me along with, my black Chippewa boots, Almond Surfboard button downs, Winter Session Garrison bag and an old wool tweed engineer cap I got several years ago in Ireland and continue to bust out when the temperature falls (unless Kat finally decided to toss it out this year).