GQ partners with Northern Grade men's market

JAHNA PELOQUIN | Updated 2/21/2014

The magazine joins forces with the American-made pop-up market, which has roots in Minnesota.

The so-called "heritage" movement is the biggest thing to happen to men's fashion since the metrosexual -- and now GQ magazine is jumping on the bandwagon.

WWD reported on Wednesday that the men's magazine is joining forces with Northern Grade, a men's market specializing in American-made heritage brands that has its roots in Minneapolis. GQ will cohost Northern Grade's New York market March 22-23, with which it will reportedly pull in some of its advertisers to partner on lounges and cocktail stations for the event -- and lend some name-brand visibility, no doubt. The magazine will also host a digital pop-up shop on the GQ site the same weekend, with items selected from each brand for sale.

"They called us," explained Northern Grade co-founder Katherine McMillan of GQ's sponsorship of the event, over the phone from her home in New York. "Magazine are turning more into brands now, and becoming bigger than just a magazine. This is their way of experimenting with that."

Northern Grade hosted its first market in 2009 at Architectural Antiques in northeast Minneapolis. Since then, it has gone on to host traveling pop-up sales in other markets including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and Tennessee and received some high-profile press in the Los Angeles Times, CNN Living and, of course, GQ.

The New York edition of the market will feature brands Billy Reid, Fellow Barber, Giles & Brother, Rancourt & Co., Haspel, Taylor Stitch, Appalatch and Noble Denim, plus Minnesota-made brands J.W. Hulme Co., Askov Finlayson's in-house line and Pierrepont Hicks, a neckwear and shoe line by McMillan and her husband (and Northern Grade co-founder) Mac McMillan.

Another local brand to make an appearance will be Norseman vodka from the newly established Northeast distillery, which McMillan tapped for a private party the evening of March 22. The addition is part of McMillan's continued efforts to showcase Minnesota brands through Northern Grade.

"There are a lot of amazing things in Minneapolis that are so new, nobody [in New York] would even know about them," she said.

Northern Grade is scheduled to make its next Minneapolis appearance in November. Though McMillan said the Minneapolis edition will not be sponsored by GQ, "There are going to be future GQ-tied Northern Grade events."

[Photo provided by Northern Grade]