Founder, Isaac Likes
New York City
“Growing up in New Zealand, I’d only ever seen photos of the Brooks Brothers stores and read about them in ‘Ivy League’ style books, so walking into the store for the first time and being able to touch and feel everything was like being a kid in a candy store.”
Covering everything from personal style and travel, to anecdotes and interviews with notable celebs, to relationship advice for whoever wants it on his eponymous blog, Isaac Likes, writer Isaac Hindin-Miller takes a glass-half-full-and-then-some approach to life, love, and fashion. His inspiration continues to be the many cultures he was exposed to while growing up in the Baha’i community, in New Zealand, but he has become a keen aficionado of American fashion since landing on N.Y.C. terra firma. “The classic, white, button-down oxford shirts are so quintessentially American—especially for me as a foreigner—and every man needs to own at least one. They’re the best.”
“I’m from New Zealand, which has no tradition of formal dressing: our equivalent to the suit is rugby shorts and flip-flops (we also have 10 times more sheep than humans so I cannot live without beautiful, woolen sweaters, especially those hand-knitted with love by my Mum). So the first times I ever dressed up were for my high school dances. I wore a grey, double-breasted suit with a white button-down, black tie, and black lace-ups. After that, I was best man at two of my best friends’ weddings in my early 20s, and those were my first experiences getting made-to-measure suits. I’ve been hooked ever since.
I started my blog, Isaac Likes, while working as a market editor at an Auckland architecture magazine as a reaction to the fashion industry fluff pieces I was reading in the New Zealand media—everything was faaaaabulous, darling, with no substance or point of view. Soon after, I started traveling to the fashion weeks in Europe and N.Y.C. I loved Paris, but New York was always my end goal. The moment I arrived here, I knew I’d found my home. Cut to me moving halfway across the world and (eventually) ending up on the threshold of the Brooks Brothers on Madison Avenue—my first time in the store.
Growing up in New Zealand, I’d only ever seen photos of the Brooks Brothers stores and read about them in ‘Ivy League’ style books, so walking into the store for the first time and being able to touch and feel everything was like being a kid in a candy store with carte blanche: the multicolored array of knit ties; the classic sack suits; the mountains of button-down shirts in uniform white and pale blue (you can always tell a Brooks Brothers shirt by the collar roll); the perfectly turned-out sales staff in their grey flannel suits with brown-suede wingtips … and that was just the first floor! The biggest men’s tailoring store in New Zealand is about 1,500 square feet—the sportswear floor alone in the Brooks Brothers Madison Avenue flagship is close to 12,000 square feet (and the store has 10 stories). Every which way you turn, there’s something to catch your eye, whether it’s a batwing bowtie or the cutest little boy’s suit; a seersucker blazer or a pair of beautifully polished tassel loafers. And if you make your way up to the sixth floor and find yourself being helped by a bespectacled young man in a suit tailored to razor-sharp perfection, his name is Gabriel Zeller and tell him Isaac says, “hi.” He’s one of the best.
My days are now spent shooting outfit posts (I love dressing in character, I love suits, and I love anything 1950s rock-and-roll with a preppy edge; my current obsession is white socks); answering relationship advice questions; and deejaying with my girlfriend, Jenny (we’re called Isaac Likes Jenny). I’m lucky that I get to do such an eclectic mix of things. The blog combines my three great loves: writing, menswear, and attempting to understand love, romance, and sex—and why we as humans constantly get it all wrong. And deejaying is just the icing on the cake.
Through it all, from New Zealand to Paris to New York and back again (and again), I’ve held fast to this trusty tenet for dressing with confidence: that is, treating everything I wear like it’s my oldest pair of jeans, no matter if it’s a bespoke suit or a suede jacket. Anytime I feel uncomfortable in anything, it’s probably a good indication that I shouldn’t be wearing it. That and these sparkly pearls of wisdom: ‘The bigger the hair, the closer to God.’”