There was a time, in the not-too-distant past, when the word khaki was just a bit scary. However unfairly, or misguided, it invoked thoughts of ’90 and ’00s-era business drones, swimming in baggy, tented pleats with cell phone holders snugly strapped to the side. It was a word people associated with groupspeak and corporate conformity. That time wasn’t exactly over in 2006, but New York’s Save Khaki certainly sounded the death knell.
Starting with a single store on Lafayette Street in Manhattan, David Mullen’s Save Khaki focused its attention on making the perfect chino pant, and then grew from there. Their original twill khaki pant was soon joined by a larger collection that shared a worked in (not workwear) aesthetic. An aesthetic that earned him a CFDA Best New Menswear Designer nomination in 2009 (alongside Robert Geller and Shipley & Halmos), and a growing number of followers and adherents.
Save Khaki has expanded to three stores since then, one of which houses the domestically-made offshoot S.K.U. line, which shares the same factory as Daiki Suzuki’s Engineered Garments. While S.K.U. runs at a bit higher price point (due to it’s local production), the original Save Khaki line maintains a wildly affordable pricepoint, displayed in even, round numbers on a chalkboard in each store.