On a brisk, sunny February afternoon in an industrial corner of Minneapolis, a critical mass of men in raw denim and Red Wings gathered to check out the all that’s cool in fashion, accessories and hand tools. On Saturday, Architectural Antiques, a worthy destination on its own, hosted the SnowGRADE men’s popup market. SnowGRADE is the brainchild of two Minnesota-based purveyors of fine men’s goods, JW Hulme and Pierrepont Hicks, whose first event, NorthernGRADE, was held here last fall with overwhelming success. Word has it they intend to make this a biannual event. Some of the great American brands who exhibited included Red Wing Shoes, Rancourt and Co., Hollows Leather, Stormy Kromer, Best Made Co., Faribault Woolen Mills and Frost River, while retailers also had booths tucked in amongst the claw foot tubs and deer antler chandeliers of this oversized curio shop.
Check out our photos after the jump.
Outside, a local meat market was dishing up bratwurst, smokers were huddled around small fires burning behind disembodied fireplace screens and Northern Brewer, a home brewing supply company had a cauldron of beer bubbling away. A brand new Jaguar XJ sedan idled, waiting to shuttle attendees between the show and one exhibitor’s store downtown. That same exhibitor had a gleaming white 1950s Jag XK140 parked in their booth between racks of men’s shirts and a display of aviator glasses.
Stepping inside, you’re greeted by the smell of freshly brewed small batch coffee and men weaving through the dense crowd clutching cheap Grain Belt beer cans. In one corner, a local barber was giving free fade haircuts while free clinics on chipping ice for Scotch, butchering a rabbit and restoring an ax drew crowds. The overflowing crowd reflected a cross section of men, from fashion-conscious hipsters fondling the raw denim to bearded woodsmen eyeing the axes and pocketknives. This was more than a place to buy clothing. It was a celebration of the American male.
Photos by Jason Heaton