Meet Michael Dodes, founder of Mill City Men, a photographic journal of men’s street style and culture in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Minnetonka recently teamed up with Michael to create a lookbook of the men who live, work and play in their mocs.
What inspired you to start Mill City Men?
A few years ago, when quality, well-styled menswear became “a thing,” I realized that a lot of what I was seeing in WWD and coastal style blogs was already happening in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. I am blessed to be in an industry that is creative by nature, and saw that a lot of the men in my peer group literally looked like they walked off of those runways or out of those magazines.
I wanted to bring Minneapolis men’s style to the forefront and share it with the world and found that using real men was a far more engaging way to do so than seeing a model in an editorial. The name Mill City Men instantly popped into my head, and the blog was born.
Describe the style of a Mill City Man.
I don’t think there is a specific style aesthetic, it’s more of an attitude or “swagger” that can easily be recognized. The main telling of a Mill City Man is simply a confident guy who has already figured out his personal style. He knows what he looks good in and isn’t afraid to take a chance on trend. He cares for quality of his wardrobe, but wants to look effortless and classic.
There’s an easy, but utilitarian quality that is unique to menswear here, which is likely because of the climate we are in. The weather here allows MCM a huge variance in menswear, from sharp shorts walking down Nicollet in the summer to a puffer jacket playing hockey on Lake of the Isles in winter.
Whose style inspires you?
I wouldn’t say that I look to one specific person as a style icon. Much of what inspires me for my own style is simply utility (aka, I wear sweats every chance I get!). At this point in my life, I’ve already figured out a basic skeleton to what looks good on me, and then I throw in trendy stuff as it happens just to keep it fresh.
The men I feature on Mill City Men however, are far more stylish than I could ever hope to be! Case in point: my favorite outfit is skinny sweats from TopShop, a vintage Lion King crewneck and my Minnetonka Driving Mocs.
What are a few of your favorite places to go/things to do in Minneapolis/Saint Paul?
Whenever I have visitors from out of state, I bring them to Mill Ruins and Gold Medal Park. I absolutely love that area and think its a fantastic representation of the modern vibe of Minneapolis. I also really like the Tres Leches at French Meadow, any bento box from Obento-Ya and any drink made by Omar at The Bachelor Farmer (mainly the Vespar though).