Muze Staff Writers – Chelsea-Lynn Schultz and Max Manasevit

The coasts have long had a fashion stranglehold on America. With the rise of genital hugging skinny jeans, over-sized sunglasses, and the “summer” scarf it seems that the time is right for a new American fashion center to emerge. Luckily, for a country yearning for someone, or something, to free it from the style monopoly of LA and New York, Chicago based Salmon Cove seems up to the task.

Salmon Cove seems to understand that men are tired of the GQ clothing model. Spending money on quality clothing is one thing, but we cannot abide with spending money on expensive clothing that is only appropriate in hyper-specific settings. Salmon Cove agrees, making quality clothing that is as appropriate for the golf course as it is for the board room. Their line blends a trendy preppy style, with a timeless Midwestern practicality. They understand that the middle-ground between trendy and versatile is not an awkward fashion no-mans land, but rather a comforting oasis containing most of our beloved garments.

Recently, we here at Muze Magazine were lucky enough to have the Salmon Cove owner Owen Schnaper sit down with us for an interview.

What made you want to start Salmon Cove?

We have both always viewed things through an entrepreneurial lens, after kicking around business ideas for a few years we landed on Salmon Cove.  We adopted a tagline of ‘swim against the current’ and we decided to do just that, leave our finance jobs and purse this endeavor.

What makes Salmon Cove stand out from other brands in the fashion industry?

There are several things that set Salmon Cove apart.  I think first and foremost that we’re a Chicago-based company.  Chicagoans are passionate, fun, and friendly people and we think our clothes and brand embody that.  On a product level, our ladies cove collars are polo shirts that have an abbreviated collar meant to be worn “popped” that distinguishes the line.  Our men’s line has a distinct Salmon Cove fit – a deviation from the boxier cut a lot of our competitors use and a step back from the European super-slim fitting shirts.  We also have subtle nuances in our designs for our sport shirts like our double-button, barrel cuffs.

What has been your biggest struggle during the lifetime of Salmon Cove?

We do our best not to focus on the struggles, but to enjoy the hard work that goes into building a brand.  Part of employing a tagline like Swim Against the Current is that you have to enjoy the journey regardless of what you’re going against.  Of course every day brings a new set of challenges and mainly it’s that we’re competing with enormous brands, but we enjoying being David rather Goliath.

What is the most rewarding experience you have had through the growth of your brand?

Having come from the financial world, there is quite a contrast of being able to see the fruits of your labors when you see people enjoying themselves in clothing we’ve built from the ground up.  It’s a wonderful feeling.

How do you give back to your community?

Our mission is to “do good, not just do well.”  We’ve done a number of things partnering with various charities all over the country.  One we are particularly proud of is a partnership with another Chicago-based organization, Bright Pink.  We have a pink cove collar where a portion of any sales from the shirt go to Bright Pink, which empowers and educates women on Ovarian and Breast Cancer prevention.

​Tags: Salmon Cove, Fashion, Men’s Fashion, Chicago, Midwest, Style, High Fashion, Preppy, Bright Pink,​ Swim Against the Current, ​Style, Trendy,​ Men’s Style