At Birchbox Man, our brands come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the all-natural upstarts to the timeless household names. This month, our theme celebrated the joys of great design, with simple staples and offbeat variations that are guaranteed to spice up your daily routine. Without further ado, here’s a look at the Class of May 2014.
When Archie Jeter and Rafael Hernandez first met in 2009, it was clear that the duo had a game-changing destiny. Both men shared a knack for vintage style and freewheeling creativity, so they set out to put a modern spin on a timeless—and oft-forgotten—product: solid, wax-based cologne. The result of their labors was Alfred Lane, a brand that produces simple, handcrafted fragrances to furnish a gentleman’s pocket.
When it comes to high-end skincare, we appreciate founders who practice what they preach. Dr. Edward Akkaway is a perfect example: His passion for healing remedies is a driving force for his brand, inspiring him to scour the world for the finest oils and extracts. The best of his discoveries make their way into dr. dewy, producing a line of lipcare staples truly beyond compare.
This cheerful brand can trace its roots back to Jasmine Adair, a graphic and textile design company with a knack for exciting detail. After years spent consulting on branding and product design, Founder Jasmine Flood decided to branch out, pooling her resources and launching a line of accessories and home goods. Today, RIADA by Adair crafts a wide range of products that are rich in personality, from natty wooden tie bars to bracelets and stationery.
In 2007, hair and makeup artist Lisa Hilton, recognizing the shortage of men-specific skincare products, decided to launch her own company. But first, the industry veteran did her research. For two years, she surveyed men to find out what was missing in male grooming. Then she gathered experts—dermatologists, makeup artists, and a few groupies—to develop formulas tailored to guys' skin. Rehab London was born.
When Henrik Lindhal and Alexander Palmgren lost their luggage on a flight to the United States, they were surprised at how difficult it was to find good replacement underwear while traveling. Founded in 2008, Bread & Boxers got its start in hotel minibars, offering high-quality underwear and socks to travelers in a pinch. Since then, the brand has expanded into tanks and tees (V-neck and crew, fitted and relaxed) for both guys and gals.
In 2000, Gérald Ghislain founded Histoires de Parfums with an inaugural round of scents named after birth dates of famous figures like the Marquis de Sade and Mata Hari. Since then, the company has made a name for itself as a niche brand with scents that run the gamut from leathery to citrusy--and everything in between.
If you’re designing a classic accessory, style will always be key, but your foremost priority should be function, function, function. Led by a design duo with over 40 years experience, this upstart brand crafts manly essentials that look great, last long, and always serve their purpose.
The PLANT design studio/shop is the meeting of two minds: Holly McWhorter, a native of Philly and longtime New Yorker with a background in interior architecture and writing, and Bjarke, an architect who hails from Copenhagen. Together, they make a range of cool, eco-friendly products, from a Swiss cheese-esque cheese board to a line of organic body washes.
For over two decades, the name of Francis Kurkdjian has carried special weight. A perfumer by trade, but an artist at heart, this olfactory maestro has lent his nose to the likes of Dior, Ferragamo, and Lanvin. After crafting aromas for the world’s top fashion houses, he decided to open his own, launching a namesake fragrance line in 2009. With a love of sensory storytelling, and a perfectionist’s eye for quality, Kurkdjian crafts colognes and perfumes with the power to transform a room.
Founded in 2010 by two MIT engineers, this line of high-performance clothing was born of the need for a dress shirt that could survive bicycle commuting without getting sweaty and wrinkled. Soon after, the pair joined forces with two MIT business school students who had similar ideas about making business wear a bit sportier. Using a combination of aerospace engineering, NASA-grade materials, and computerized knitting, the team went through more than 20 iterations of the first garment before they were satisfied.
Areaware began in 2003 as Are Aware, a name meant to convey the brand’s passion for design, along with the aesthetic sensibilities of their target audience. Since launching, their design team has attracted a wealth of world-class talent, producing everything from foldable bicycles to eye-catching kitchen utensils.
The brainchild of three childhood friends, Hanz de Fuko is an organic, results-oriented hair care line for the modern man. Since its launch in February 2009, the brand has expanded its lineup to include a wide range of products—from clays and cream stylers to daily shampoo—earning the favor of celebs like David Beckham, Calvin Harris, and Mark Foster.
The old "practice makes perfect" adage is actually a brilliant business model. Case in point: Davines. Founded in 1983 by the Bollati family in Parma, Italy, Davines Group was a research lab that produced haircare concoctions for global cosmetics companies. After decades spent in the trenches, the Italian brand decided to branch out on its own, designing products that balance eco-friendly ingredients with an emphasis on lab-proven effectiveness.
Developed by renowned dentist Thomas P. Connelly, who treats everyone from sports stars to celebs to executives, 32 Oral Care goes beyond masking bad breath to get to the root of the (universally) unpleasant problem. His 32 Effervescent Breath Treatment contains a special formulation of IsoVoxy crystals that kill—not just mask—odor-causing bacteria. So you can breathe easy, even if you just gulped down your a.m. cup of java.
On top of whiskey, gunfights, and player pianos, every saloon in a Western flick has a classic deck of playing cards. For that, we have Bicycle to thank. Founded in 1867 just after the Civil War, this brand has been an American staple since 10-gallon hats were cool. After 150 years of prosperity, their team continues to innovate, with a wide array of designs that range from vintage throwbacks to robot-inspired curios.
If you’re in the market for a storied brand, you won’t do much better than PRORASO. Since 1930, its shave products have been a staple of Italian barbers and discerning groomers alike, pairing simple, soothing formulas with a vintage aesthetic that stands out on any sink ledge.
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Copywriter, cold brew advocate, purveyor of handcrafted birthday haikus since 2009.