HOT IN CARMEL

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By Chadwick Medel | Ryan Rosene

Maddox Haberdasher is cheerfully arranging my father’s pocket squares in his blazers. He’s donning
Cole Haan Wingtip boots and plaid pants fastened with a cobalt blue alligator belt. This is
accompanied by a light blue shirt that is covered with a red cashmere jacket and a blue polka dot
bow tie to top it off.

Maddox was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, where humble beginnings included financial
hardships. Despite this, he desired to dress in a presentable way as a kid. His mother’s words
nurtured this longing: “Dress nicely and be a nice guy, and everyone will like you,” she told him.

In lieu of buying large amounts of clothing, he cherished the few items he acquired. Maddox
reminisces: “You can look nice even if you don’t have a lot of money. On my only pair of sneakers,
I would wash the shoelaces
and rub a toothbrush against them to get away any stains.” This passion
for meticulousness stayed with him through high school, where he would take a combination of
inexpensive clothing items—501 Levi’s, matching jean jackets, and crazy t-shirts people gave him—to
craft his own unique style.

At nineteen, Maddox joined the Army with his cousin. He wanted to leave home, go on an adventure,
and make something of his life. It was something he quickly enjoyed. “It was structured, and that’s
what I fell in love with in the military. It was cut and dry,” Maddox shares. “You need structure
as a young man, and it gives you the backbone. It made people in my family proud. The honeymoon
ended when I found out we were going to war in Baghdad.”

Maddox recalls Baghdad as hot and hostile. He served as a medic in his platoon and grew a
fraternity with his fellow soldiers, which still lasts to this day. “They made sure they got me
back, and okay, to the States. I owe them a debt of gratitude forever.”

The 110-degree weather scorched away the comforts from the States back home, which made him
appreciate simple things like running water. The thing that Maddox missed the most was simply
dressing nice. “I was given the opportunity of tagging along in a four-vehicle convoy over a high
danger zone to go to a town that had the December issue of GQ fashion magazine. I took the
opportunity to get that little piece of home.”

After fifteen months in Baghdad, Maddox was injured and relocated to Presidio of Monterey. While
stationed there, a friend informed Maddox of an amazing fine dress store in the Carmel Barnyard
known as Khaki’s. Maddox was perplexed that there could be any worthwhile dress store in a place
called the Barnyard, but upon his first visit, he realized it contained some of the most
well-dressed people he had seen in his life. Khaki’s owner, Jim Ockert, provided an opportunity
that helped bring Maddox’s dream to fruition. “Jim told me to take a break for giving so much to my
country,” he says. “And Jim gave me an opportunity to get in the clothing industry. I am eternally
grateful for what he did. He has an incredible taste level.”

Maddox now works at Robert Talbott off Ocean Avenue in downtown Carmel. His distinct style has
progressed, and it became an even greater passion that he considers an art “as it relates to a
painter.” Although he didn’t make the paint, the easel, or the canvas, he says. “I didn’t make the
shirt, pocket square, or the pants. It’s the artistry of connecting the dots. I don’t make
things. I make it hot.”

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