written by Moses Naughton-Garrison

a man with shoulder length hair looking down into a film camera that is pointed forward behind him is a white studio space

Hey Mark, thanks for taking the time to talk. Would you mind introducing yourself to our readers?

I grew up in a small town in New Mexico, four hours from Albuquerque. I ended up moving to Colorado for grad school to study chemical engineering. While I was there, I started working at a menswear shop and kind of grew into the idea of trying to push my life in that direction. I ended up leaving grad school in 2017 to move to New York, kind of on a whim, after I got an opportunity for a full-time position at a fashion e-commerce brand.

How important was your time working there in regards to getting a foothold in the New York fashion scene?

It was instrumental for sure, I picked up a lot while I was working there. It was a small company, so I could be involved in every part of the process, from the day-to-day operations to the larger scale things. Through that alone I was introduced to pattern making and production in the New York Garment district, which is how archie began to take shape.

A man with curly brown hair modeling beige pants, a boxy zip front navy jacket over a beige turtleneck

Speaking of, what were those first few years of archie like?

It started around 2017, I was mostly doing small runs, maybe 12 to 15 garments, of clothing that I felt like I could wear in my everyday life. I had developed good relationships with a few factories in the New York Garments district through my work, so they would let me pop in whenever they had a hole in their production calendar and would take on my projects. It was a lot of just figuring things out. I was learning about how to change the cutter's must in a way that felt like you were bringing some originality to the clothes you were making, things like that.

I was also grateful that the store I was working at let me sell the clothes I was making on consignment which allowed me to put more money into archie. I’d do a run of sweatshirts and they would sell through those and from that I’d build a couple more patterns and so on.

a woman with shoulder length dark curly hair models a pair of cream pants with a beige button down top and a sweatshirt tied across her chest

When did you decide to take archie from something that was more or less a hobby to a full-fledged brand?

It happened pretty naturally, the clothing store I was working at sadly closed in the midst of the pandemic, so like summer of 2020. I had a few other gigs after that, a photo studio I ran called Wrythe, but archie was always in the background. It came to a point in the spring of 2021 where I realized I had enough patterns that I could manipulate to put together a full collection.

I found that from the beginning, I was really interested in the language between the clothes that I was making. Even in the early days when it was just a button down and a pair of pants, I loved seeing how the clothes interacted with one another. So, there was sort of an itch that I had to play with color and texture and see how those things spoke to each other, how the models wear it, how the lookbooks are shot and everything. That to me feels like the most ideal form of expression given the tools that I have.

a closeup of a man's chest, he is wearing two button down shirts one striped, one sage green with a boxy zip front navy jacket over both

In what ways are you exploring those ideas within archie today?

I think that making clothes is just a constant learning process. I’ll be shooting a collection, and think this is what worked and this is what didn’t. In that way I think I’m always sort of iterating on previous collections and taking notes on what I want to carry into future collections.

A woman with shoulder length wavy dark hair models a  voluminous gingham henley style top and khaki pants

We’re coming up on three years since archie’s first collection, thinking back, how has the brand changed since those first few years?

I think that I’ve grown a lot as a designer, so to me archie feels way more put together than it did even two or three seasons ago. I think that creatively, I’m still approaching collections from a similar place. I’ll finish a collection and be completely dead for a few weeks, and then I’ll be out in the New York Garment District and see a fabric and think “I need to use this,” or I’ll be riding the subway and see some detail on a coat that gets the gears turning. I think in that way just living in New York is sort of an infinite resource for me.

At the end of the day I just want to make clothes that are self-informed, you know? I want people to buy the clothes because they like them, not because of the branding or anything else. That’s a pretty integral part of archie, it’s clothing made for clothing's sake.

a man modeling a charcoal suit with a tan shirt beneath wearing a black baseball hat

What’s next for archie?

We’ve got our SS24 collection coming to stores in February and March of next year, so keep an eye out for that. I’m also working on some editorial work with my friend, and very talented photographer Christian Michael Filardo which I’m excited about. On another note, I feel like archie is getting to a place now where it’s well defined enough to start taking on some collaborations, so I’ll be starting work on those in the next few months. It’s going to be an exciting year for archie.

a man with curly dark hair models a brown henley style cotton top with brown pants

Thanks Mark for taking the time, where can we find archie?

Thanks, you can find archie at Colbo (New York City), Understory (Oakland), East + West (St. Louis), Meridian (Hudson), Pilgrim (Tokyo), Kiosque (Tokyo), 88 Curate (Seoul), and of course our website.