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Inside Steven Alan

Store Highlight: Nolita Men’s Shop

  • Our Nolita Men’s Store opened in 2005 as our first single-brand store. Last year, we opened a sister store across the street so that we could have both a dedicated men’s and women’s shop. We spoke with Store Manager Frances, Assistant Manager Shana, and Sales Associate Daniel about the store today.

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    What do you like most about the shop?

    The Nolita Men’s shop is different from our other stores because it’s shirting-focused. Men’s shirting was the foundation for our in-house collection, so having mostly shirts on the racks is a great introduction for guys who are new to Steven Alan. Many of our regular customers have a favorite style and will come by to pick up new patterns every season without even trying them on. We also get tourists that make annual trips and just stock their wardrobes for the year. Even if they’re from places where we have other stores, like California, they’ll make a point to come by and shop here during their visit.

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    The space itself is really small and intimate, and we can really form relationships with customers. Men come in here and like that it’s a designated space just for them. Since product selection is edited, it’s not an overwhelming shopping experience. Guys will usually find a couple of shirts that they love and then get accessories, like a Filson bag or shoelaces.

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    What do customers get really excited about?

    Most of the guys who come in don’t care as much about trends — they’re more into the story behind the garments and the details. Our Flap Pocket Collegiate shirt is really popular here, and the blue floral print from our first Spring delivery has been getting a lot of attention. In general, people seem to gravitate towards unique prints and some of the more interesting patterns – especially tourists who want to pick up something different and special. In addition to our shirting, Filson bags are a perennial favorite, and our shoe collaborations generate a lot of interest. People who are familiar with brands like Thorogood, Nike, and Red Wing are always excited to find exclusive styles they can’t get elsewhere. Cardigans also do really well. We’re noticing a lot of young guys who want these sort of oversized, smoker’s cardigans and will even buy them a couple of sizes bigger. New trend?

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    What are some of your favorite items in the shop right now?

    Daniel: I like our dobby pattern shirting this season. The dots are actually sewn in, so you can see the stitching on the inside. I also like the two-tone Vans Era California, and the Levi’s Vintage Clothing 519 Bedford pants. The fabric is really great.

    Shana: I love the Liberty print tie. I’m obsessed with it and envy the man who can wear it.

    Frances: I really love the material on our navy/gray plaid Flap Pocket Collegiate Shirt. We have a dress in the same fabric in the women’s store.

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    What do you love about the neighborhood, and what are some of your favorite places to hang out?

    It’s interesting because there’s a really nice camaraderie among the network of retailers here. You’d expect it to be more competitive, but there’s not that vibe. Other menswear shops send people our way all the time, and vice versa. The team at Raleigh comes in a lot and are super friendly. They’ve brought friends over who are looking for shirts to go with their Raleigh denim. Armour Lux on Mulberry is great, and the guys from Wolverine come by as well. Our brands all work really nicely together. As for food, in addition to what we mentioned for the Nolita Women’s shop, Habana is nice because it’s right next door, and grabbing a quick, satisfying lunch for under $10 is always a great thing. Tacombi is just down the street — their tacos are awesome. There are also tons of great bars on Elizabeth to meet friends after work.

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    Many thanks to Frances, Shana, and Daniel! Come by and say hello at 229 Elizabeth Street.

    This entry was posted on Sunday, February 10th, 2013 at 6:16 am and is filed under In the Neighborhood, New Arrivals, Photos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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