When I first saw these sweaters from the newly launched clothing line Miles High, I felt like I'd just found a missing puzzle piece, eaten a really amazing slice of chocolate cake, or spent a few hours on a sunny dock. Miles High projects satisfaction, comfort, and warmth. It is no wonder, then, that the line describes itself as "founded on the notion that the home is a sanctuary." Indeed, these sweaters and tees look like exactly what I'd want to throw on after a day at the office (okay, in my case my home is my office, so I guess I'd wear them to work, too) or after a day spent outside skiing or sailing. Founded in Boston by Alex Levin, Miles McAlpin, and Sam Reich, Miles High is bound to take off into the stratosphere (more after the jump).
I'm friends with Miles, so I've been able to watch the line develop for some time now. The entrepreneurship that it took for these three guys to start the brand speaks to the recession-era spirit of young people that I wrote about on Friday; it's so inspiring to see folks go out into the world and make their dreams realites. Especially when the reality looks as good as the Baby Alpaca Pull-Over, the Essential T, and the adorable Wooden Pilot Wings engraved by GoodWood NYC.
How did Miles High come to be? It's a story of serendipity and hard work that Miles was kind enough to tell me: "Sam's dad went to Ecuador and brought him back a caramel Alpaca sweater that Sam wore all the time, for years. We thought they'd do really well in America, so we decided to build a line around them. Sam knew Alex, who was at Parsons The New School of Design learning fashion by the books; we all met and got down to business about a year ago this month." The name came about because, as Miles says, it projects a confidence without being overly assertive. The sweaters, like Sam's original, are all knit by hand in Ecuador, while the t-shirts are made in L.A. out of organic cotton.
I love the theme of being high up that holds the line together. While the clothes are about relaxing after a hard day of work or sport, the vision is about reaching the sky. The company's website, tumblr, and blog (called On the Radar) use beautiful images of the earth from above and of planes, clouds, hot air balloons, etc. to convey a clean, fresh aesthetic. The lookbook, shot by the talented photographer Toby Caughron, speaks to this vision as well--it's straight-forward and showcases the products beautifully (the black and white shots, including the one I featured back in November were taken by Pat White).
But as fearless as the founders are, as cool the concept, and as beautiful the blogs, it's the sweaters themselves that make this line worth keeping an eye out for. Without a great product a brand is nothing; fortunately for Miles High, they've got a backbone of beautiful sweaters and tees made of the finest materials. And, if that weren't good enough, Miles High has partnered with several charities--whenever you buy a sweater, they donate enough money to save 100 square meters in the Andean Rain Forest in Ecuador where the sweaters are sourced; so far the brand has saved over 5000 meters of forest.
What's next for Miles High? They're currently working on a spring line, which will feature new items, some accessories, and, of course, the wooden pilot wings. I can't wait to see what they dream up next.
Here are some more images I've put together from the Miles High Lookbook.
And originals from the lookbook:
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