Being There: NorthernGRADE

As great as the clothing and wares were at this past weekend’s NorthernGRADE – and they were great – for me, the event’s real highlight was the people there. It’s not often you find yourself surrounded by so many like-minded and genuinely kind folks. Perhaps it’s just another testament to the intrinsic kindness of the Midwest and those who dwell within it, or, perhaps it was the shared excitement of finally being able to interact outside of an @ context, or, perhaps everyone in attendance knew they’d have to contend with some pretty major blog blow-back if they copped an attitude. Whatever the reason, I didn’t shake a hand that wasn’t offered in earnest, or share in a conversation that I didn’t enjoy. Thanks to all the browsers, buyers, bloggers and brand owners for making it such a fun and memorable day. I’m already looking forward to next year’s. Scroll down to see some of the people and products that made NorthernGRADE great.

The visionary, and newly pregnant (congrats!) Mrs. Pierrepont Hicks, taking it all in.

Mr. Pierrepont Hicks looking debonair in the label’s Saturday tie.

A match made in Americana heaven: Pierrepont Hicks ties and Taylor Stitch shirts.

This is Barrett, one third of CWAC favorites Taylor Stitch, and one of the nicest guys on the planet.

This is what I look like when I’m trying to convince my girlfriend that I need to buy two bow ties, instead of one.

A nice set-up from Minneaoplis’ Martin Patrick3. Note the exclusive Gitman Blue Line shirting, and beautiful J.W. Hulme Sporting Originals bags.

Great to finally meet Molly from Duluth Pack. Check out the not yet released buffalo plaid Scout Pack in the background – made with fabric from Woolrich.

When not yelling at random passersby to purchase his wares, Billy Moore makes belts under the moniker Cause & Effect (no link, but here’s a nice little write-up in Valet).

A small sampling of Red Wing’s AW10 collection.

Baldwin Denim’s booth and namesake.

Rules For My Unborn Son author, and all around class act, Walker Lemond. If you haven’t already, do yourself the favor of picking up his book.

More Sporting Originals bags from J.W. Hulme. These bags are seriously great.

The endlessly affable Allplaidout.

Joe and Max mid Americana show-down.

According to my non-vegetarian friends, the food from Cafe 128 was delicious. It certainly did look good.

Mr. Gannon getting up close and personal with my Hill-Side tie.

Pretty much sums it up (’sup Plett!).

A huge congratulations to Pierrepont Hicks and J.W. Hulme on a job very well done. Also, a big thanks to James for the photos.

For more NorthernGRADE coverage, check out A Treasury of…, Noble County Gold, and You Have Broken the Internet.