A Toast For The Miller Brothers
I belive that it is very rare that people can come into your life and influence everything about you and ultimately craft you into a better person. But I can say that it has happen to me and the people who are responsible for this are two gentlemen that I hold in high regard, not just as businessmen but as mentors and role models. Derrick & Kirk Miller are two brothers and co-owners of the bespoke men’s shoe label Barker Black in New York’s Nolita neighborhood. When I moved to New York in 2007 they gave me my first job as their assistant. I cannot even describe how much they taught me about personal style, business practices and confidence. The two men are pillars of success and grace and they showed me that I too can achieve greatness. Working in their office on Crosby street and assisting in the Elizabeth street shop, I learned something that I will never forget and that is humility. The amount of success and recognition the two have amassed never once went to their ego’s and they have always remained poised and humble in the face of such recognition. When I left the Miller brothers after 1 year as their apprentice, I applied the knowledge that I amassed to become the person I am today. The world they have crafted is of such high quality and precision, it makes it hard not to accept all the beauty that Barker Black the brand has to offer.
Derrick and Kirk also introduced me to personal style and the world of tailoring. Prior to working with them I had no formal suit, they gave me one and showed me how to blend colors and patterns together to create a unique look everyday. I never owned a pair of formal dress shoes, they gave me (a few pairs) and showed me how to have my pants tailored to show off the shoes and keep them clean and well maintained. They showed me many things about running a business as well. I accompanied them on many meetings and took countless notes which I hope to apply to my own brand (Sergio + James) for I know what they have taught me is priceless. Along with Barker Black, which has grown tremendously in the past few years, Kirk has ventured off into his own avenue of business and has launched Millers Oath. A bespoke mens clothing label situated in a quaint shop in the West village. I was so proud and happy to see what Kirk has created this past year with the launch of his label and I know that it will do so very well.
Made to Measure and with prices starting at $3,000, the shop is open by appointment only and features “conservative clothing with a twist” says Kirk. The brothers know all to well about “twist” as their logo for Barker Black is a skull and cross-bones which they incorporate in everything from their ties to the hardware on the shoes. They are truly my idols and I know that Sergio Wonder and I will make them proud with our brand. They have been like ultra stylish godfathers to me and I thank them so much for what they have taught me.
Here is a toast to you both.