For summer shoppers, a treat.
Several seasoned Charlotte retailers are bringing forth new additions to the city’s shopping scene this summer, all over town.
In Myers Park, menswear boutique Tabor is now open at 421 Providence Road – the first menswear offering by Laura Vinroot Poole, whose Capitol and Poole Shop in the SouthPark area have earned her an international following. (The New York Times followed her on a Paris buying trip in March.)
Situated in a cozy 1927 bungalow on Providence Road in the heart of Myers Park, Tabor is handsomely chic and airy, with white walls and open, soaring windows that fill the rooms with light.
Vinroot Poole’s husband, architect Perry Poole, completely redesigned the space (men’s and women’s clothing retailer J.McLaughlin relocated to Phillips Place in the fall), adding touches like handsome glass and wood display cases, ultra-plush felt curtains in dressing rooms and clean-lined George Nelson shelving.
Tabor shares the bungalow with SOCO Gallery (Southern Comfort Gallery), founded by Chandra Johnson, which focuses on fine photography and includes a bookshop and gallery space.
In Tabor, a display case holds an offering of handcrafted Max Poglia knives. On-site tailoring is available. Many of the shop’s fine menswear lines won’t be found elsewhere in Charlotte, including RRL (the highly exclusive line of Ralph Lauren – “the secret cult brand,” Vinroot Poole calls it), Mark McNairy (McNairy and Perry Poole were college roommates at UNC Wilmington), Cuisse de Grenouille sportswear from France and Tricker’s shoes from England.
“We’ve been doing (womenswear) for 18 years, and people have been asking us all along the way, ‘I wish you’d open a men’s store,’” Vinroot Poole said. “It’s as much for the clothes as for the customer service. We pack people for trips, edit closets, do drop-offs – all very high-touch customer service.”
Vinroot Poole said she and her husband “were always obsessed” with the Myers Park bungalow, so when it became available they jumped at the chance to use it for the next venture, along with Vinroot Poole’s friend, Chandra Johnson.
As a lover of art (both she and Johnson sit on the board of trustees at the Mint Museum), Vinroot Poole said galleries can sometimes be “intimidating and not that fun – and I think men’s clothing stores can be that way, too. So this is an interesting juxtaposition.”
A few price examples: a McNairy seersucker shirt, $290; Tricker’s boots, $365; Cuisse de Grenouille “Surf in Paris” T-shirt, $70; Jack Spade blazer, $698.
In South End, Silverfly Sport (1426 S. Tryon St.) offers sporty, “everyday wear” clothing, shoes and accessories for men (and a smattering for women) in the space formerly occupied by women’s shoe boutique SHU. (SHU owner Dan Mauney has taken the company online-only, and Brief, his underwear/swimwear store, has closed.)
Fidel Montoya, owner of Silverfly and Silverfly Sport, said he’s been looking for a way to serve South End’s young professional crowd, who live and work in the uptown area.
“With this clothing, they can go to work, hit the gym and then go out to eat and have drinks in the evening,” Montoya said.
Prices at Silverfly Sport will be slightly lower than at Montoya’s original store, Silverfly, which opened in the Metropolitan in 2012. For example, instead of the $200-range Joe’s or Hudson jeans at Silverfly, Silverfly Sport will offer Levi’s 511s for $78.
There’s a big emphasis on workout wear at Silverfly Sport, with many styles of Prana yoga wear, swimwear by Andrew Christian, Parke & Ronen and casual, slip-on rubber-soled Civic Duty shoes made from Tyvek in more than a dozen colors ($40/pair, or two pairs for $60).
Bags that can go from the office to the gym are in plentiful supply, including canvas ones by Topo Designs and sculpted bags made from vegan leather and suede by MRKT (short for “mad rabbit kicking tiger”).
One portion of the Silverfly Sport space will be occupied by South End Chic, a boho women’s boutique run by KT Giraldo.
Over in Plaza Midwood, veteran Charlotte women’s retailer and personal stylist Linda Martinez and restaurateur and social media guru Lesa Kastanas are opening CLTCH with Scott Weaver, a jack-of-all-trades fine artist/makeup artist/interior designer/party promoter.
The name (say “clutch”) comes from an Urban Dictionary meaning and can be adjective – “perfect, exactly what is needed” – or exclamation, like “awesome!” or “score!” Kastanas said.
The store, in the longtime Hall Clock Shop (1512 Central Ave.), will offer “collectible objects of desire,” Kastanas said, including accessories, jewelry and lifestyle items for men and women, including some vintage and some apparel. They expect the shop to open in July; currently, walls are being primed and floors await finishing.
“It’ll be all the things that we love that we want to share with other people,” said Kastanas.
Seeing Plaza Midwood maintain a thriving retail presence is important to Kastanas, she said (she and husband Andy Kastanas run Soul and the Diamond there), especially now that the area has become so popular that rents are soaring out of range of many mom-and-pop retailers.
“We don’t want Central Avenue to turn into Bourbon Street.”
Items on offer will include Permanent Vacation T-shirts, Reincarnated Roadkill leather goods, Olo fragrances, jewelry from Gypsy and Avant Garde, and a wall of fine art for sale, including the work of native Charlottean and collage artist Brian Olson. Most jewelry and accessories will range from $10 to $75 (including handbags, T-shirts, books, flasks, prints, scarves and more) and higher-end jewelry collection pieces from Avant Garde and Gypsy will range from $30 to $175.