If there is one person in Boston who knows the ins and outs of the city’s fashion world—especially men’s fashion--it’s Jeff Lahens, who bills himself as a Men's Style Curator.
After building his own menswear brand, Lahens branched out into marketing other brands through his DressCode Boston (DCB) firm. Launched six years ago, the company helps their clothing brands transition into the Boston area. “Our aim is to help other brands when they come into Boston,” explains Lahens. “We handle marketing, branding and publicity. I will help design everything from the business card to the retail space.”
In short, DCB’s goal is to drive traffic into Boston's men's retailers. A boutique agency, it specializes in connecting menswear brands to their audiences. And to do this, Lahens utilizes social media. “I connect the brands to the consumer and the customers to the brands,” says Lahens. Social media tactics such as InstraGram fashion shows or fashion experts' roundtable discussion on Twitter, for example.
“After being on the other end as a designer, I saw there was a need for a resource to promote menswear in Boston. There are plenty of firms that do this for women’s clothing but none for men. I am really the only one doing this.”
And men’s fashion is heating up in Boston, as companies are looking to not only set up retail shops but also their marketing offices in cities outside of expensive Manhattan. “There are more and more men’s fashion retailers opening up here in Boston,” notes Lahens. “And I am here to help guide them along the way.”
Lahens hasn’t given up entirely on his own designs. He still designs clothes for as he says a “selective clientele.” But he says DCB has been much more expansive. “It has opened up a lot of doors for more,” says Lahens, a self-taught designer.
Lahens immigrated from Haiti after high school in 1995. He went on to graduate from Bridgewater State University after which he landed jobs as a software engineer and as a consultant for a financial services firm. But fashion always intrigued him as he was on a constant search for suits that fit well. So he started designing his own. “I would write out the detailed instructions for tailors and have them execute the idea,” recalls Lahens. When other people started asking for his designs as well, he formed his custom clothing line. Among his rumored clients (as Lahens won’t spill details) were Celtics coach Doc Rivers and players from the Patriots, the Red Sox and the Celtics.
Now with the consulting arm of DCB, Lahens is helping other designers achieve their own Boston notiriety—as well as promoting the city of Boston.
“I am doing a lot for the city itself as I promote men’s fashion in Boston and illustrate that Boston is a great arena for brands to build,” he says. Lahens’ long-term goal for DCB is to “put Boston on the global fashion map and lure in international brands.”