Michael Williams, Founder & Editor, A Continuous Lean - Leader, Maurizio Donadi, Chief Creative Officer, Filson & President, Bedrock Creative Office, Kent Kilroe, Managing Director, Freemans Sporting Club, and Billy Reid, Designer, Billy Reid discuss the impact and opportunities of building a brand made in the United States.
With 30 years experience in the fashion and lifestyle industries, Maurizio Donadi has developed a unique and varied background. Considered an expert in the industry, he has worked with some of the most successful international fashion houses and their founders, including Levi Strauss, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Diesel, and Benetton.
Mr. Donadi offers his extensive knowledge on a global strategic scale. In meeting financial objectives and understanding the culture of the company, he has directed product design teams and developed global expansion strategies at brand, retail, sales and distribution, and marketing levels.
Currently, Mr. Donadi is President of Bedrock Creative Office (BCO) and Chief Creative Officer of Filson and the other brands in BCO’s portfolio. He provides integrated brand management from business strategy and brand development to creative direction, sales and distribution. BCO is a division of Bedrock Manufacturing Co., a manufacturing and strategic development company focused on American brands.
Separately, Mr. Donadi co-founded Conduit Creative Office in June 2012 with strategic partner Bedrock Manufacturing Co. A strategic creative studio based in Santa Monica, California, Conduit works across all disciplines from brand development, product and environment design to creative services and global distribution strategy, connecting inspiration and enterprise to bring brand stories to life.
Born and raised in Calgary, Kent Kilroe spent countless hours of his childhood at the ice hockey rink. His passion for sports and the great outdoors led him to his first venture in the athletic clothing business in Vancouver—a snow and skate apparel brand, Three Stones.
In 2002, with a successful brand under his belt, Mr. Kilroe sold the business and moved to New York. He devoted his time to exploring the city’s real estate, eventually leading him to build his own townhouse on Manhattan’s Eastside. Furthering his interest in land, Mr. Kilroe focused on development in Harlem and sales in Brooklyn. Never losing his love of the apparel industry, Kent discovered a selection of boutique menswear brands in New York with a true attention to detail that he could appreciate. He became an ardent Freemans Sporting Club customer, visiting the Lower East Side flagship on a regular basis. A fan of the company’s ready-to-wear and made-to-measure suiting, he filled his wardrobe with a FSC collection all his own before joining the team as Managing Partner in 2009.
Now a permanent New York City resident and father to four boys, Mr. Kilroe focuses on strategically guiding the expansion of the FSC brand in the U.S. and abroad.
Billy Reid’s modern approach to classic Americana and dandyism is at the heart of his collections. His Southern roots, paired with a downtown New York sensibility, embody the aesthetic and lifestyle of the brand. Emphasizing craftsmanship, expert tailoring, and the use of unconventional fabrics, Mr. Reid’s collections reflect a personal authenticity.
Mr. Reid was nominated and awarded the GQ Best New Menswear Designer in America Award in 2010. He participated in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2010 and won, becoming the first ever designer to win both prestigious awards in the same year. As a winner of the Fashion Fund, Mr. Reid was invited to be a part of the Americans in Paris initiative in 2011. He was invited to return in 2012 during Paris Fashion Week, to showcase his collection to international retailers and media. In 2012, Mr. Reid was named as the recipient of the CFDA’s Menswear Designer of the Year Award.
Today, Mr. Reid has stores in New York City, Nashville, Charleston, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Austin as well as Florence, Alabama. Billy Reid is also sold in top-tier specialty and department stores internationally including Odin New York, Nordstroms, Bergdorf Goodman, Union Made, Confederacy, Neiman Marcus, Beams, 10 Corso Como, Journal Standard, and United Arrows. The company also operates an e-commerce shop.
Michael Williams is Founder and Editor of the men’s style website A Continuous Lean (ACL), an online collection of clothing, design, inspiration, and style. The website was launched in late 2007 in an effort to fill what appeared to be a void of menswear editorial online.
ACL has focused on creating quality content that centers on a masculine aesthetic. Additionally, the site has created several product collaborations with brands like Steven Alan, Tellason, GANT Rugger, London Undercover, and Cole Haan. These special products have been offered exclusively through ACL’s online shop. In 2010, ACL partnered with Club Monaco to help evolve menswear by creating a new assortment of third-party products, as well as helping with a special made in the U.S.A collection under the Club Monaco label.
As someone long obsessed with provenance, Mr. Williams has made it his personal mission to champion domestic manufacturing, and in 2008 created The American List, a resource of fashionable clothing all made in the United States.
As a native son of Cleveland, Mr. Williams takes pride in highlighting craft and quality in its various forms. Currently, Mr. Williams lives in New York City and works on the factory floor at Paul + Williams.
Kent Kilroe, Managing Director at Freeman's Sporting Club, and Maurizio Donadi, Founder/Chief Creative Officer at Conduit Creative Office, discuss how the manufacturing mindset in the U.S. produces fashion that's made to last.