“To each their own, and Agriculture to all” could be the motto of Christopher Brackenridge, 43, and Milton Latrell, 42, the owners of Agriculture menswear boutique, which offers custom-made suits, personalized styling services, and a wide range of ready-to-wear garments at every price point. “We cater to different people and body types,” says Latrell. “When you come to our boutique, we will style you according to who you are and what your lifestyle is. We focus on what looks good on you and make sure that you get a good return on investment,” he says.
Brackenridge and Latrell, whose mothers were both seamstresses, grew up in Bronzeville and struck up a friendship in high school. Their inherited love of fashion prompted them to become business partners. They opened their first shop in Bronzeville in 2005, and decided to move downtown in 2019 to expand their clientele. If at first their goal was to bring downtown luxury to Bronzeville, now they’re bringing Bronzeville’s charm downtown. Their groovy vibes can be felt immediately upon entering the boutique; the air fragrant with Agriculture’s Merino Wool candle made with sandalwood, and a selection of gospel, jazz, and R&B music in the background.
Agriculture’s central and most important offering is their dedicated and knowledgeable customer service that can start with a little liquor to “ease the moment.” Latrell explains, “When customers come in for a consultation for a custom-made suit, we offer them some scotch whisky or whatever kind of drink they like—we have a full bar. Then we talk a little bit about their profession, what they do for fun, and why they’re getting these custom garments.
“After that, we take full body measurements and learn what their body profile is, to enhance their figure. Lastly, we show the customer a selection of luxury fabrics that best fit their lifestyle, and what accessories they can use to complement their suit.” “We’re a mixture of tailors, stylists, and psychiatrists,” adds Brackenridge.
Agriculture’s custom-made suits start at $750, with free styling consultation and “therapy session” included. For those looking for a more immediate sprucing up, there are plenty of ready-to-wear garments and accessories available both from the Agriculture exclusive line and from other brands. Local offerings include timepieces from Bronzeville Watch Company, beaded bracelets from Brack’s, items from A Girl in the Gold Coast, and In Truth’s scarves. Beyond local, some of the available brands include hats from Stetson and Dobbs, and wool garments from Romeo Merino, with whom Agriculture recently struck a big partnership. “Soon we want to start putting our products and designs [into] bigger retail stores,” says Latrell, proving that great menswear does take you places.
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