The connection between design, inspiration, production and place is often disjointed in the contemporary global economy. While this is commonplace, occasionally a brand comes along that wholly encapsulates the notion of place in a product—Watch Hill, Rhode Island’s Huxter Goods is one of these rare labels; with design, production and a brick-and-mortar store all located a stone’s throw from the New England beaches that inspired it. Founder Read McKendree—who balances running Huxter with working as a professional commercial photographer—sought to create a brand and space that embodied his New England, one rich with surf, sun, friends and the outdoors; in all weather. “There is an elegance and luxury in New England coastal towns and I wanted to pair that with the ruggedness of our coastlines and weather patterns and the utility items needed to constantly adapt to the changing seasons,” McKendree explains.
McKendree takes great pride in producing all of his pieces in New England. The small-scale production allows him to give constant feedback to his manufacturers and use the most premium materials. “I am able to drive to our factory in the morning, drop off fabrics, watch the pieces be cut and check on them throughout the sewing process,” McKendree says. “Our turn around time is quick and we’ve been able to build a really great relationship with all of the workers there, not just the owner. They take pride in the products they deliver because they see the pride we have in Huxter.” The brand’s wool overshirts are the perfect layering piece for winter, with a trim cut that easily accommodates a button-up or sweater beneath. Dress it up with a shirt and tie or keep casual with chambray or denim. All of Huxter’s pieces have details that illustrate McKendree’s passion for making each customer experience unique. From pattern cutaways that are unique to each shirt, to the contrast coloring of the lightweight (and luxuriously soft) flannels, the attention to detail and craftsmanship is all but palpable.
The brand’s location in historic Watch Hill is filled with items from small and often regional businesses with a strong nautical aesthetic. True to their products and identity, it’s common to have sand from the beach blown in the screendoor or find windsuits and surfboards—drying off from an early session—stashed alongside General Knot & Co. accessories, artwork (that’s for sale) and Huxter’s latest collection of one-off shirts. Huxter’s current collection along with a selection of items from their beach-side location is available online. Shirts start at $132.
Images courtesy of Huxter Goods