For over three decades Lou Mettler has curated sophisticated style and served as a pointman for conceptualizing innovative retail strategies for fashion giants across the globe including Polo Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss and Joseph Abboud, along with serving as one of the founding partners for Tommy Bahama. However, when it comes to labels these days, there is only one that ignites his sartorial passion: the Made in the USA label.
During the 60′s Lou and his father would venture into Detroit once a week to explore fine mens clothing shops, and take in the exquisite wares manufactured in the U.S. In the decades since his childhood, Lou (like countless other Americans) witnessed the decline of American manufacturing as goods moved offshore and local mills and factories were forced to close their doors unable to compete against substandard wages and non-existent environmental laws abroad. Unable to let go of his profound love for authentic Americana and American craftsmanship Lou opened Mettlers American Mercantile in Charlevoix, Michigan in 2011, a retail concept with the sole purpose of selling exceptional heirloom quality American made goods.
Lou spends roughly 180 days of the year scouring the United States for American made clothing, accessories and home furnishings to fill his store. With over 31 small U.S. factories in 16 different states sourcing Mettlers’ goods, Mettlers American Mercantile serves as a melting pot for American heritage brands still manufactured in the U.S. It is also no coincidence that Mettlers Mercantile’s storefront spurs images of the iconic Ralph Lauren shops, after all Lou was once responsible for conceptualizing the upscale standards the brand is now renowned for. If you are unable to make it in to Charlevoix to view the stunning store firsthand, don’t hesitate to browse the entire online shop here.