Who goes to the mall anymore? Between online deal sites, warehouse events and, increasingly, pop-up and other alt-retail events, savvy retailers and entrepreneurs are coming up with new ways to part men from their money. In Baltimore on April 28, Confirmed Stock held its inaugural pop-up event featuring “Menswear, vintage, dry goods, lifestyle.” From the looks of things, there was a lot of good energy, and good attendance: The space in Baltimore’s Charles Village started filling up at 11am, as vendors were still setting up. The brainchild of Baltimore resident Neal Shaffer, Confirm Stock’s cri de coeur is,
[quote] we all feel passionately about quality stuff. We’d rather spend a little more on something that will last than waste money four times over on something that will let us down (and soon require replacement). We likewise bristle at notions of “fashion” or spending money on something just because it has a name. We’re after quality, plain and simple. [/quote]
One highlight in Baltimore was Raleigh-based Lumina Clothing, who brought a terrific selection of cotton ties and is also expanding into dress shirts, pants, jackets and women’s wear. The Lumina founders have a great story to tell. Three guys — from architecture nuclear engineering and environmental backgrounds — got together and formed a company that is doing its part to revitalize American-made style from an area of the country that used to lead the world in textile and apparel. I started Modern Fellows so I could meet and write about people like them.
Jack Robie was likewise impressive. The project of two former Wall Street execs and Brown University classmates, Jack Robie is about a year old and is focused on quality, fitted sports shirts. They had a navy blue gingham “Ford” shirt with them, which could be dressed up with a suit and tie. Hopefully these guys expand to include a line of dress shirts.
There were a series of other innovative, entrepreneurial and just plain impressive individuals and fledgling companies on hand, including Almanac Industries, Corter Leather, CXXVI, Federal, Fischer Clothing, Sixteen Tons and Two Inch Cuffs. A full list with links to participants is available at the Confirmed Stock website. It sounds like the organizers are hoping to hold another event in Baltimore. No plans yet to branch out to other locations. Thanks to Off the Cuff DC for the tip.
About JakeJake is an expert on men’s style and fashion based in Washington, DC. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs and innovative clothing and lifestyle brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. He has published hundreds of articles on style and apparel, and regularly interviews small business CEOs and startup founders about industry trends. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine.
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