I must admit that at times my sense of luxury brands may have been a bit distorted by great ad campaigns and overall good marketing, but being somewhere between 9000 and 10,000 feet above sea level has a way of rendering you both short of breath and with lucid thinking.
Prior to the new year I visited Axel’s in Vail Colorado while they hosted their annual holiday trunk sale. There I learned intricate details about some of the Italian brands they had relationships with (in particular Kiton, Finamore, Sartorio, Luciano Barbera, and few American brands that they carried Comstock Heritage, and Stallion boots). While there I made it a point to simply observe and take in the whole experience, I went with one goal in mind - to really dissect the shop.
Before venturing to Vail there was one brand/ name that I really felt promoted a complete lifestyle from a distance the unnamed brand encompassed living a certain lifestyle and I have long respected its movement. My experience in Vail added the name Axel’s to my short list of brands that I really felt promote lifestyle over product, and remained consistent in every aspect of what they did. Axel’s stocks only items that the family believes coincide with the shop’s philosophy - only the best, from the shearling they stock, the Kiton suits, the Finamore shirts, to the Comstock Heritage belt buckles (more on them in a future post) each piece was possibly the best in terms of construction, quality and detail. Prize fighters are measured pound for pound, shops should be measured item per item, and if that is the case,Axel’ s may just be the best overall luxury clothing shop in America.
I traveled to Vail to get away from the bright lights and New York shops all while experiencing a different side of America (we tend to forget that New York is not America). There I had a chance to see the other side of American style and Americana. Americans don’t only wear Italian suits and English shoes, there is also a large population that embraces cowboy boots and belt buckles without being cowboys. Some stores talk of American made product, others focus on Italian made items, Axel’s captures the best of both worlds.