Skip to main content

NYC’s Graham Fowler Store is the City’s Menswear Gem

grahame fowler
Image used with permission by copyright holder
A menswear designer and retailer, Grahame Fowler has toiled in fashion for 42 years. And for the last ten, this English transplant to New York City has run an eponymous, impressive, menswear shop in Greenwich Village that carries his own line, as well as high-quality brands from England, Japan, and Italy. Located in a former dry cleaner, the cozy, slightly eccentric space retains the former tenant’s revolving mechanical hanging rack on which Fowler displays the store’s outstanding selection of button-down shirts.

Fowler, who says that he has “always done my own thing and been left of center,” recently gave The Manual an in-depth look inside his excellent Anglo-inspired emporium, which he aptly describes as “a small gem in The Village.”

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Congratulations on your ten-year anniversary. What’s the story behind the store?

I don’t pander to fashion. This shop has a particular viewpoint. It has an English accent and angle to it just because we’re all English that work in here and a lot of the stuff is rooted in our youth culture from the Sixties–whether it’s brogue shoes or button-down shirts or Fred Perry or classic Barbour waxed scooter and motorbike jackets.

What are your bestsellers?

My own shirts. I make them here in America–some in New York and some in Massachusetts. And I sell Tricker’s shoes. I do a lot of my own style of Tricker’s, so I go over there and choose the lasts and the leather and details and do very small runs of limited editions. Once they are sold they’re gone and then I’ll do another run. I do the same with the English shoe company Sanders. And then I sell Levi’s Vintage Clothing– some of the limited release stuff. The same with Red Wing. And there are Japanese brands as well like Shuttle Notes. It’s stuff that just fits in aesthetically with what we’re feeling.

What else do you carry?

We have bags from England and we make our own ties and belts. And we sell Fox Umbrellas–the best umbrella in the world.

We’re also doing a collaboration with Gola that will be here in a couple of weeks. That was one of the shoes we wore as kids with Puma and Adidas but Gola was made in England, so it had a certain following.

You also have quite a selection of watches. I know you are a well-known vintage watch collector and expert…

I’ve been a big watch guy for a long time, but it’s just that suddenly it became fashionable. I’ve stood in the corner with it and then the spotlight hits you. I’ve collected them for a long time and I’ve always had them in the shop and bought and sold and traded watches as well. Specifically dive watches, specialty dive and military watches is my bag.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Who’s the customer who shops here?

Oh, Lord! It runs the gamut really. We have a lot of people who are in the arts like actors, photographers, film directors or stylists. We get all kinds of people. People that visit from Italy and England. We even have people who come from Japan just to buy certain things. But it still is very niche. Always has been and always will be. I have no plans to make it bigger and deal with all the headaches. I’ll let the J. Crews and the Ralph Laurens of the world deal with that.

How much of the merchandise is available from your webshop?

More of it is going to be. It will be very tailored and there may be more objects on there too, like knives and tool rolls and socks and watches.

What, in your opinion, sets Grahame Fowler Original apart?

The reason to exist in a store like this is to have stuff that isn’t available everywhere. You have to seek it out and come in and try it on and buy it. Lots of people come in and try the shoes on because they are not going to buy them online. If you want the true sensory perception of what the shoe is you have to go and try it on. And I think that visceral experience is more of what we’re about. We’re not about stacking it high and selling it cheap. We seek things out that are unusual and rare and not available everywhere.

What is the price range?

Shirts are $125 to $200. Sneakers are about $200 to $225 and then we go up to the cordovan Tricker’s that are nudging $1,000. But if you buy that boot in cordovan leather and you take care of it, it will last you 20 to 25 years. So it’s a boot for life. It might seem at lot at $950 or $1,000, but divided by 25 years it’s a good investment and it’s cheaper than a pair of trainers you buy every six months and throw away.

And then there’s everything in between. The sweet spot is probably $450 to $550 on the shoes, $150 on the shirts, $400 on the jackets and $200 to $275 on the pants.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

What has been the best part about having your own line and running a shop?

I think it’s the fact that I am working here today and I know the history of everything I’m selling and I can 110 percent stand behind it. I can stand behind the fit, the quality of the cloth and the shoes. The whole process of designing it, making it, tweaking it, putting it in the shop, merchandising it, and having someone try it on and buy it is very encompassing and very satisfying.

It’s not made in China and doesn’t come here in a container and get unpacked and get rebranded. It is what it is. It’s a proper well-made piece of clothing whether it’s knitwear, shirts, jackets, shoes or accessories. Everything has been touched and it’s sold with soul.

Christopher Blomquist
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Christopher is a native New Yorker who lives and works (mostly) in Manhattan. A longtime fashion journalist, he served as…
Brooks challenges Vuori with new Luxe Apparel Collection men’s clothing (and women’s clothing!) line
Workout clothing is now more fashionable than ever
Two people walking on the street in Luxe

There has always been a separation between fashion and function, style and getting the job done. When it came to gym clothes, men were often used to simply throwing on a ratty old t-shirt and the same basketball shorts we have always worn. The world is ever-evolving, and the fitness world is beginning to get stylish. Brands are becoming more focused on style and comfort, closing the gap between fashion and function. Vuori has long been the pioneer of the stylish comfort game. But now they have a new competitive adversary on the market.

Brooks has been a mainstay in footwear since the early 1900s when they made bathing shoes. That's right, shoes made to be worn in the rivers, oceans, and anywhere the tender footed wanted to go. They developed shoes across many industries before they took aim at the one that held their passion: running. Decades later, they are one of the leading authorities in all things running, with some of the best shoes money can buy. Their next step is the release of the Luxe Collection, a combination of men's clothing and women's clothing that is just as good on the run as on the couch.

Read more
Puma Sale: 290 men’s sneakers and running shoes now under $100
Puma Deviate Nitro 2 running shoes on the floor.

With plenty of variety as part of its sale, Puma is the ruler of running shoe deals right now with hundreds of sneakers and running shoes on sale. It's possible to buy Puma running shoes from just $51 with popular options like the EvoSPEED Electric 13 track and field shoes available for just $99. With so many different options out there, we strongly recommend you click the link below so you can see for yourself what's best for your needs. However, if you need a little guidance, keep reading while we take you through some of the highlights.

What to shop for in the Puma sale
Puma is responsible for some of the best running shoes which is always a great start for any future purchase. If you want to keep things cheap while also having a wide fit, consider the

Read more
Ditch the blues and grays: This men’s fashion expert wants you to add more color to your wardrobe
Embrace a new color and revitalize your closet and your life
Max Israel of Y.Chroma

When men are young, we try out brighter colors portraying our youth. But as we age, the colors begin to dull, and we tend to drift toward safer neutrals like blue, gray, brown, and the always exciting black and white. Now, don't get us wrong, we love a great blue that is rich and striking or a dark outfit that gives us the evening black-tie look. But when your entire wardrobe looks dull and lifeless, it is time to liven it up with a color palette that draws attention, brings out your inner playfulness, and stands out from the crowd.

That can be challenging for a middle-aged man who has spent his entire life subduing his appearance with dark neutrals. But help is on the way; we got a chance to sit down with Max Israel, founder of Y.Chroma, a menswear brand out of Lisbon that is endeavoring to help men release their inner light with the kind of color that they've been missing out on their entire lives. Let him help you figure out the best way to liven up your closet and life.

Read more