A Q&A with Kyle Shiels, Uncommon Man’s Founder and Owner.
Uncommon Man is a brand founded in Dallas TX in 2017 that opened its store to the public in mid-2018. Kyle’s mission with Uncommon Man is to let men be comfortable in their clothing, have confidence and find value in how they dress for not just an occasion, but from sun up to sun down. An effortless approach to dress and living, especially in the product.
What inspired you to start Uncommon Man?
Uncommon Man was born out of love for the industry, an industry I had always been a part of and wanted to take what I had learned up to that point and do it my way. I didn’t feel the men of Dallas were being taken care of properly when it came to their wardrobe and approach to dressing. I felt with the right team, Uncommon Man could offer something aspirational to be a part of.
How do you approach design at Uncommon Man and where do you find inspiration for new products?
Fabric, proportion, and practicality are three important pillars of our design approach. We pull our inspiration from garments and silhouettes rooted in history. We don’t look to change details or shapes in a garment rooting in history for the sake of change, only if it has a functional or stylistic purpose. When picking fabric, we do our best to work with all natural and sustainably sourced fabrics, if there is any synthetics we like to use recycled/eco-friendly options. Proportion is everything to us, items that look connected when worn together are what we strive to achieve.
What public figure, past or present, do you feel best represents the overall style of the brand?
Uncommon Man has had a few evolutions. The brand started as a custom tailoring brand first: only custom Suits, Jackets, Trousers, Shirt, Tuxedos etc. We sold Orazio Luciano, 100Hands and Ambrosi, but there has always been a vision for the brand to become something more. In 2019 I brought Travis Pranger on board to help with creative direction and help with designing RTW collections. The last 2 to 3 years have brought a lot of changes (the obvious is COVID19 and the challenges that brought) that keep progress moving forward. What you’ll find from the brand moving into the future is more RTW in more categories, all designed with the same philosophy in mind. Building a true lifestyle brand.
Where does Uncommon Man manufacture its products?
Everything is made in Italy. Our knitwear in recent seasons has been made in Scotland. In line with the design approach, we look to produce everything ethically and in places where we feel they do what they do best. This means specific regions in Italy for specific products. It’s not limited to Italy, for example when we introduce denim you might find it’s made in America. Always looking to deliver the best.
What is the relationship between you and the brand’s suppliers?
I take these relationships very seriously. I communicate with them weekly if not daily. The goal is to keep the relationship strong, working together every season and growing together. We see them as an extension of the UM family!
How much do you think sustainability is important in today’s fashion industry and how does it fit with your vision?
It’s no secret that sustainability is important in our industry and we hope to do our part by sourcing sustainable fabrics and trims (natural or recycled), not over producing products instead keeping production limited and curated, and building sustainable wardrobes for the consumer. What I mean by that is if a customer shops with us each season, he is building a wardrobe that is not rooted in trends, but is rooted in style (with consideration of how he cares for his clothes) with less consumption and more longevity.
Leave us with a motto that the company will always believe in.
Never miss a story – subscribe now to the Gents Cafe Newsletter, a bite-sized read about men’s lifestyle to enjoy over a coffee or a nice cocktail.