Mark McNairy

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Mark McNairy (born March 8, 1961 in North Carolina) is an American fashion designer.[1] He is the former creative director for the Ivy League inspired clothing company J. Press, as well as his own collection simply known as Mark McNairy New Amsterdam.

Designer Mark McNairy.

Current projects[edit]

Three styles from the AW09 Mark McNairy Red Brick Soul footwear range.
  • Mark McNairy New Amsterdam — Recently[when?], McNairy has launched an English and American inspired footwear range as the first component of his eponymous label. The shoes — which are made in Northamptonshire, England — are split into two sections. The first group, called Red Brick Soul, features a selection of dirty bucks, saddle shoes, chukka boots and loafers that all sport the red brick colored sole. Alternatively, the New England Collection features a selection of more formal designs that mix traditional English and American styles in a rather tongue-in-cheek manner.[citation needed]

Past Work[edit]

  • J. Press — In 2005, McNairy was hired to update the American brand J. Press, by introducing, according to the men's fashion trade publication DNR, an "updated collection of sportswear and tailored clothing." [2]
A J. Press plaid sport coat from the fall collection.
  • Southwick — Recently[when?] McNairy lent his supposed talents to the American tailored clothing company Southwick to help reintroduce the Lawrence, Massachusetts based brand to a new customer. Mr. McNairy was tasked with the responsibility to reinvigorate the seventy-nine-year-old brand. During his tenure with Southwick, McNairy worked to add interesting fabrications and detailing into the collection. McNairy also directed the redesign the companies' website with a fresh look to build buzz around the label. McNairy was also instrumental in collaborating with the brand Engineered Garments for their spring / summer 2009 collection.[3]
  • McNairy Brothers Makers
  • SHIPS, Ltd.
  • 68 & Brothers
  • Finis, Inc.


Throughout his career in the clothing business, Mark McNairy and his work have been featured in American and international publications like The New York Times,[1] GQ, Details, VMan, The Washington Post and many others. Through his work in Japan, McNairy has developed a large and loyal following. Publications like Men's Ex, Free & Easy and Non No have all featured McNairy and his designs.

In September 2006, McNairy was quoted in an article from The New York Times Magazine about the growing popularity of Ivy League style and classic American brands like J. Press.

"The young customers we have now are, like, really hip kids," says Mark McNairy, the new design director at J. Press, which has been dressing blue bloods since Theodore Roosevelt was in office. The company deliberately keeps its stuffy shops limited to New Haven; Cambridge, Mass.; New York; and Washington — the better to hook Ivy Leaguers on its blazers and "shaggy dog" wool sweaters before they head off to run the world. However, McNairy has decided not to ignore his more fashion-literate patrons. A recent addition to the J. Press line of icon-emblazoned neckties is one with skulls and crossbones, not a nod to Yale's secret society but a wink to the new customer who has a closet full of ironic T-shirts.[4]


In 2012 McNairy put out a T-shirt design featuring capital bold-faced print MANIFEST DESTINY. Manifest Destiny was the belief widely held by Anglo-Americans in the 19th century that they were the divinely destined inheritors of the American continent. Thus, the violent colonization of indigenous peoples at the hands of Anglo-Americans was also considered to be "divinely" ordained.

Due to customer and public response, the tee shirt was eventually discontinued by the GAP, and McNairy responded by saying the meaning behind his design was misconstrued, and it was not his intention to offend anyone; however, neither the GAP nor McNairy offered an apology for the offending language.

Further Reading & External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b In a World of Many Tribes, Shirts for Each The New York Times. Retrieved on June 12, 2008.
  2. ^ New Flagship Updates J. Press Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. DNR, 2007-5-7. Retrieved Currently, on May 30, 2007.
  3. ^ Engineered Garments Spring/Summer 2009[permanent dead link] Selectism, 2008-7-3. Retrieved on July 5, 2008.
  4. ^ American Brandstand The New York Times T Magazine. Retrieved on June 12, 2008.