August 5, 2014
“Mill City Men used to be a one-guy show.” It only took a short two years however for the Midwest street-style blog to gain popularity. Michael Dodes’ devoted and forward-focused mind is the reason for Mill City Men’s success, without a doubt.
My name is Michael Dodes and I’ve lived in Minneapolis for 8 years. Prior to that, I grew up in a tiny lake town up in the “218” part of Minnesota called Frazee, which is next to a less-tiny town called Detroit Lakes. If you google my home town, you’ll find that we’re famous for having the world’s largest turkey. Neat, huh?
I moved to Minneapolis to attend college because I needed a change from the tiny northern Minnesota lake town where I grew up. I wanted room to spread my wings a bit and all I had on my mind was speeding off down the highway towards a new adventure. I needed a place where I could nurture my ideas and thoughts; a place that fosters creativity and encouraged new thinking. I certainly got that within a few weeks of living in the Twin Cities. Minneapolis was such an easy place to call home, which was partly because I made a point to get away from the confines of campus as a student as often as possible. Within a year I felt like I knew the streets and neighborhoods very well and loved the variety of things to do in your down time. What really made me feel at home was the collaborative nature of Minneapolis. It’s a wonderful place to grow creatively because you can literally find someone to collaborate with you on almost anything – video, photo, writing, flowers, you name it! And if people get on board with your ideas, they’re excited to be a part of it. It’s great to live in a community that supports creativity in such a way.
I started Mill City Men in 2012 as a Sartorialist-esque street style blog with which to practice my amateur photography skills. I never dreamed it would get to where it is today – a resource on the modern man’s life in the Twin Cities. I’ve always felt fashion was too focused on the coasts, so I wanted to put the midwest on a platform of some sort to show more of what we have to offer outside of lakes and a kick ass State Fair. Lucky for me, the menswear trends followed, which definitely helped increase interest. I’ve been incredibly humbled by all of the attention we have gotten and the established brands that have allowed us into their doors to to represent them through our lenses. Mill City Men used to be a one-guy show, but in the past year we have brought on a stellar team of photographers and contributors to provide a different point of view on the Twin Cities men’s scene. I definitely look forward to the coming months as we continue to grow and chronicle the men’s style scene in more exciting, engaging ways.
If you’re reading this and considering coming to the Twin Cities for a visit, DO IT! We’re one of those rare cities that truly does have a little something for everyone… especially in the summer. Book a flight, pick up a copy of City Pages (a weekly guide of what’s what in the city) and have an adventure! You’ll love it.