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Northern Grade Expanding to L.A.

The pop-up marketplace focusing on American-made men’s wear is coming to more of America.

Northern Grade, the pop-up marketplace focusing on American-made men’s wear, is coming to more of America.

Established in Minneapolis in 2010, Northern Grade has partnered with socially conscious brand Apolis for its first event on the West Coast in Los Angeles Saturday and Sunday.

The spread to the West Coast is only the beginning of expansion for Northern Grade, according to cofounder Katherine McMillan, who started the neckwear brand Pierrepont Hicks with her husband Mac. McMillan said Northern Grade would put on eight temporary marketplaces this year in cities that include San Francisco and Nashville, and as many as 12 next year. Twenty-five to 30 brands participate in each Northern Grade, and Taylor Stitch, Baldwin Denim, The Hill-Side, BKLYN Dry Goods and Self Edge are among the brands that will be at the upcoming L.A. edition.

As Northern Grade grows, McMillan said its audience does as well. “Mostly the people that have come are men between the ages of 20 and 40, a lot of creative types,” she said. “The thing that is happening now is so many women are coming, especially in Minnesota because it has been around the longest here, and it is a place to meet cute guys. The last one we had in St. Paul, we also had much older men. We had the age bracket 50 to 75, and they were spending.”

McMillan expects Northern Grade to make a return visit to L.A. in about a year. “I am so excited about L.A. I truly think it is going to be the best one yet. The reason is L.A. itself is such an amazing town, and the brands have great energy,” she said. “There is a little bit of Hollywood in every one that we are dealing with.”