Our new ‘Sir’
series - three elegant tortoiseshell frames inspired by our first collection - celebrates
both our history and the craftsmanship of which we are so proud. Who better, then, to model them for us than
Kirk Miller, Creative Director of Manhattan’s revered and heritage-inspired
custom clothiers Miller’s Oath. Named after a general store his
great-grandfathers owned in South Dakota at the turn of the century, Miller’s
Oath promises a level of quality and honesty you won’t find many other places. Favored by financiers, the fashion set and
literary luminaries alike - Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review is an
outspoken fan - Miller’s suiting, with its revelry in the finest materials and
unstinting attention to detail, is the perfect pairing to our new gentlemanly
collection. Besides, the former soccer
star is a pretty handsome chap to boot. We
sat down with Miller on a recent afternoon to talk about his craft and
prospects on a career in front of the camera.
So, what do you think - do you have a future
Noooooo. I think I ought to buy back my rights.
Oh, you look great and the clothes are, of
course, amazing. There is a natural
overlap, I think, between the worlds of Oliver Peoples and Miller’s Oath. When you created the shop, the brand, did you
have a very specific idea of who was going to come to you?
didn’t at all. The guys who wanted to
come find it did. The guys who ended up
coming in made us think, ‘Oh cool, that’s exactly who we would want wearing it.’
Even though all of them are so different
- that has been something that I found really interesting, and something I think
Oliver Peoples has as well - a very hardcore group of dedicated customers who
really care about what we are all about as much as we do! I feel very fortunate that I really like all
of our guys.
Do you have a lot of the Wall Street guys? I’m imagining a lot of Patrick Bateman-style
one-upsmanship in the office - guys bragging about their Miller’s Oath suits.
We have a
core of those guys, but most of those places are broken up into desks, groups
who trade corn or derivatives. And there
are usually like one or two cool guys in the group, guys who you think, ‘Yeah,
he’s got great taste.’ I think we’ve
been lucky to get the cool guy in the group who really gets it.
Even though you are completely customizing a
suit for a client, there is still a very recognizable ‘Miller’s Oath-ness’ to
your pieces. How did you come by that
aesthetic? Was it a targeted inspiration - something you admired and aspired to?
Or has it been a process of refinement?
A little bit
of both. The first suit we did four
years ago doesn’t look anything like the one we just did. It’s evolved and gotten better. Even now there are things about our pattern
that we are refining. Each element. And that is something I like: we can always
get better and make things even closer.
Is there some Platonic ideal of the suit you
are trying to approach?
with the custom. As much as I would like
it to be identifiable, there are some guys for whom this works and that
doesn’t. Until we do a ready-to-wear
line we are working with a moving target.
So, much like crafting Oliver Peoples frames,
say, you are creating these sort of living sculptures that have to meld with
part is fun, because it is solving someone’s problems, seeing something new. And then my favorite thing is when we get an
email like this (holds up a glowing note
from a client) and it feels pretty cool.
- Interview by Chris WallaceSHOP SIR O'MALLEY