Get to know Ministry of Supply, a downtown Boston-based menswear line that combines GQ style, NASA-level state-of-the-art technology, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the entire Zuckerberg generation.


Launched in 2011 by a tight team of MIT alums, the company brings advanced engineering concepts into the world of men’s fashion, designing professional clothing for the active and style-conscious guy.  Yes, the dress shirts, slacks, socks and tees are crisp and dapper.  But thanks to awesomely innovative scientific research, they also boast groundbreaking proprietary fabrics and insane design technologies that allow the garments to adapt to the demands of an active body in an urban environment. 


It’s really about understanding how the body works,” explains Ministry of Supply co-founder Kit Hickey. “We want to bring what we learn in the lab to the best clothing manufacturers in the world.”


The results are James Bond-esque stuff.  Take Ministry of Supply’s crisp Apollo dress shirt.  It isn’t just named for the Greek sun god because the sleek, modern fit shows off your chiseled chest — though that doesn’t hurt.  The shirt was actually developed using thermal analysis that maps how and where human body heat forms.  (You know in movies, when the SWAT team finds the villain hiding in the woods using a thermal imaging camera? It’s that kind of wizardry.) The Apollo is also made using the same material developed by NASA for space suits.  On moonwalks, that material regulates body temperature in extreme, possibly life-threatening conditions.  But when you’re cycling to the office through Downtown Crossing on a sultry summer day, it regulates body temperature so that you avoid overheating and sweating through your shirt.  (Which could also be life threatening, if you walk into a 9 AM client meeting with pit stains the size of a kiddy pool.) The shirt even stores your body heat, and releases it back to you when you reach the air-conditioned office. 


There are many more space age style elements.  The ventilation qualities of Ministry’s Aero Slacks were inspired by jet airflow, and certain shirts have nearly invisible, laser-cut ventilation holes near those parts of the body that generate the most heat. Some garments have silver yarns threaded throughout collars and cuffs, which are naturally antimicrobial. (Read: Natural deodorizers.) Ministry’s proprietary “Javafresh” fabric is made with recycled coffee grounds, another odor eater.  The list goes on, and it’s only going to get longer. 


Ministry has come a long way since launching with the help of a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $400,000 — at the time, the highest amount ever garnered for a Kickstarter fashion project. They earned their sea legs with the help of MassChallenge, which bills itself as the world’s largest accelerator project. (Yes, it’s in Boston – not Silicon Valley.) And most recently, the company raised a seed round of $1.1 million in funding in September. 


With this growth comes a new way for guys to check out their threads: a new temporary storefront at 299 Newbury Street, arguably Boston’s main high-end fashion strip.  Ministry will continue to have a small office and showroom downtown, often used to host hacks and networking nights with other local startups.  But the Newbury Street store gives customers a consistent place to find Ministry apparel throughout the summer.  And the space will also include areas that demonstrate to visitors how the apparel’s technology works.  “We want to democratize the technology,” explains co-founder Aman Advani.  “We don’t want to just splash people with jargon like ‘moisture wicking’ and ‘permeable membrane.’  They sound like buzzwords.  We spend a lot of time developing our materials, technologies and manufacturing methods, and we want to really break down for people how it works.” 


Allow us: Style. Smarts. Sweet.


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