In many a futuristic utopian film, we see our heroes drinking from Brand X nutrition goo while wearing Brand X uniforms as they sit in their self-driving Brand X car. As we move towards a “fewer is better” lifestyle mantra, a new minimalist-cool Los Angeles label is aiming to be the mindful “Brand X” for a gender-blind world.
Live as of today, m/f people is the latest endeavor by Greg Alterman, who also founded Alternative Apparel and Juice Served Here. Its aesthetic is as sleek as its name’s punctuation suggests: an ethical, less-is-more approach to fashion, skincare, and home goods. That translates to wardrobe staples like classic baseball caps, pima jersey tees, and lightweight french terry sweats ($18 to $125); a range of cruelty-, gluten-, dye-, and paraben-free beauty and skincare products that include a pheromone cream and hyaluronic vitamin-C serum ($10 to $40); and hygiene line that includes mouthwash and charcoal toothpaste ($14 to $24).
Eventually, m/f plans on expanding to outerwear, underwear, bags, accessories, even food — and you can bet we’ll want to stock every shelf in our home with the brand’s sleek and effective goods.
We sat down with Alterman to find out more about his newest brand, which is currently only available online. Read on below to learn about what inspired him to create a unisex line, what it was like taking the plunge into creating beauty and skincare for the first time, the m/f products that are currently on heavy rotation in his household, and more.
You’ve got extensive experience in fashion and lifestyle brands. What led you to create m/f, specifically after your experiences at Alternative Apparel?
I do, it’s in my blood I suppose — 29 years after my apparel departure ([I spent the] last four years on the sidelines at JUICE Served Here) I was itching to get back into the business. I saw a wide open space that no company had infiltrated yet. It’s the space that’s based on the trending minimal approach and with a genderless m/f point of view.
Why was it important to you to create a unisex line, and did anything/anyone influence that decision?
Gender is such a hot topic today, so I wanted to use some of my past experience as I was influential and somewhat pioneering the unisex “ath-leisure” movement with Alternative Apparel. It was always in the “offer” but it was not the focus. I think lines are blurred today when it comes to unisex clothing and I’m building a brand that is focused on it specifically. We will be known for it. It’s in the name m/f , where the logo shows a super thin line between the sexes. In our case, the majority of the offer will see no lines between male and female.
Who or what inspired the aesthetic and designs?
Seeing such a positive reaction to the JUICE brand I co-founded, I wanted to stay in the “clean” realm and give another “choice” when it comes to how people interact with their daily essentials. The brand was built to be “invisible or accentuating ” in their homes, and not a distraction or seen as clutter. I do think we have solidly built a line for bathroom and closet that will make ones home experience more “zen”-like.
What were the challenges, if any, in adding skincare to the range?
Luckily, and strategically, I’ve recruited an advisor to the company who has spent a career in medicinal grade skincare, so my learning curve there was shortened dramatically. Factories that he had spent years developing were now available to me to product develop to my specifications. Immediately this brought a professional approach to the offer and quickly determined that a “neutral ” fragrance ([like the] m/f signature kumquat smell) could be one that would appeal to all people.
Packaging was also a long process in determining our point of view as it relates to part of our core ethos in being “minimal.” We struggled for a while with branding as we wanted to be [unique] but also so subtle that there was no additional distraction to the beautiful matte bottles and simple other packaging. We landed in a great spot after months of deliberation. I think the user will approach are the cohesiveness of all the products and no frills packaging.
Which pieces or skincare products are in heavy rotation on your wardrobe or in your skincare routine right now and why do you love them?
I’m a huge fan of our super scrub face product, hyaluronic face cream, and super scrub body for skincare. All do an amazing job and they all WORK. That’s part of our mantra, to make items minimal and functional with no additional unneeded in ingredients that WORK. As for clothing I’m living in my Staple Henley and Linen Tee. I sleep every night in the Sunday Sleep pant. My wife is raving about her Sunday lounge pant and her refined v-neck. She also wears all my tees which is really the “basis” for this brand. We fight over the peoples sweatshirt but usually she wins!
Where do you see m/f in five years?
I hope to rewrite the beauty and apparel “gender constitution” and expand into multiple home categories where someone can literally “m/f” their home. Kitchen, food and beverage, laundry room, furniture, accessories, bedding, and home textiles are all places I could see m/f expanding amongst others. We dedicate ourselves to having a best in class quality with attainable price tag so we can resonate and be approachable to all people. It’s a lofty goal but you have to dream it first I suppose.
Our first category expansion will likely be “socks and underwear” along with a super edited “food and beverage” [collection]. Coffee, green tea, and protein bars are what most people grab when they are leaving the house every day. m/f will have a point of view there.