David Mullens of Save Khaki United (or S.K.U.) was one of the first in the United States to reach out to Fidelity Sportswear after noticing the work Gerald & Stewart had been doing in Japan. We were happy to have the chance to speak with him, despite his busy schedule, about S.K.U., his goals and dreams.
Describe the philosophy of S.K.U. What key concepts define your brand?
Simple american sportswear with a modern twist. Emphasis on comfort with a contemporary fit. Honest and hardworking everyday essentials.
Tell us more about your mission to be entirely American made. What sorts of manufacturing resources have you found in North America?
It was a gut feeling to bring all of our production to the USA. A strong intuition, giving us more control of the quality and timing. I love the process, starting with a pen and paper sketch, fittings, approvals and then producing garments. Being in the factories and laundries is a must to achieve the best result. In Los Angeles we manufacture garment dyed products. Tees, chinos, durable shirtings, etc. In the North East we work more on “full package” projects. We find a manufacturer like Fidelity and attempt to do a “seamless” project with respect to their capabilities and core competencies. For instance, we take a P- Coat they have always made and revise with our fit, trims and details. We work in a similar way for sweaters in Fall River, Ma. Accessories and footwear are approached with the same scope.
You were one of the first stores to pick up Fidelity Sportswear in the United States. How did you hear about Fidelity?
I was flipping through a Japanese magazine and came across a Fidelity CPO shirt that caught my eye. Immediately, I reached out to Fidelity and spoke with Gerry. A few days later, I was on the Acela train to Everett to start sampling wool outerwear. Prior to Fidelity, we had sampled wool outerwear in NYC without satisfaction. The cutters, sewing operators at Fidelity have years of experience working almost exclusively with wool. It is a unique trade skill.
Share more about your interest in classic American sportswear.
My take on it: Similar to america itself – a melting pot of unique peoples, but somehow it all comes together. American style draws inspiration from workwear, collegiate, athletics, nautical and military.
What key pieces should we look for in the store this fall?
The wool varsity jacket is a done in a grown up way. Chunky boatneck rag sweaters, layering henleys are a great compliment to our chinos. Slim fitting fleece and sweats are becoming a key part of the assortment.
A big thank you to David! Please visit Save Kahki’s website here.