Colorful polos, slim-fit swim shorts fastened below breezy linen shirts, and jackets that range from leather bombers to wool blazers. Rodd and Gunn menswear feels fitting for a budding entrepreneur—or a fashion-forward pirate (imagine the cast of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie attending business mixers about rum stocks and cannonball prices). The New Zealand–born brand has been bringing island vibes to its 2000-square-foot storefront in Bellevue Square mall since April. But the new-to-us antipodean company easily melds with Seattle style, too.
Pacific Northwest fashion falls somewhere between style and functionality. The fashion-minded dudes among us want clothing that’s comfortable and durable, but eye-catching—something you can be equally confident in while walking through a grocery store after a long day exploring interurban trails as you would paddleboarding across Lake Union. That’s where Rodd and Gunn comes in. “Like New Zealand, the Pacific Northwest is a unique blend of outdoor pursuits [and the] beauty of the environment,” says Rodd and Gunn CEO Mike Beagley. “The parallels couldn’t be any closer.”
Rodd and Gunn dates all the way back to 1946, when its signature English pointer logo first dawned New Zealand–made shirts. New Zealand has a rich Polynesian influence, too, which is reflected throughout the fashion design: bold colors and textures allude to the Samoan archipelago and other native geography. As for that durability, Rodd and Gunn guarantees a two-year faulty workmanship clause with all of its clothes and luggage. The company takes the time to source the best fabrics from linen grown in Normandy, France to the merino wool collected close to home in New Zealand. “We have a unique perspective on the world of fashion,” Beagley says. “Being based outside of the fashion capitals of the world gives us the freedom to interrupt fashion, fabrics, and fit our way.”
Old footlockers, driftwood benches, and plants of all shapes adorn the shop. While 7,000 miles away from home, Rodd and Gunn has managed to squeeze big Kiwi vibes into this small Pacific Northwestern storefront.
Check it out Monday through Saturday 9:30–9:30 and Sunday 11–7.