Southern Style

The South’s Top Shops

From a new Nashville fly-fishing outfitter to a suit atelier in Arkansas to a wine emporium in New Orleans that (of course) delivers, there’s never been a better time to sample the South

photo: Rett Peek

The showroom floor at Barakat Bespoke, in Little Rock, Arkansas.

FOR HIM

Barakat Bespoke
Little Rock, Arkansas

A shoe shine at Barakat Bespoke.

photo: Rett Peek

Shine On

A shoe shine at Barakat Bespoke.

The daughter of a master tailor and a descendant of Palestinian cloth merchants dating back to at least the nineteenth century—records get hazy in the 1800s—Jenanne Filat opened Barakat Bespoke in October 2014 in Little Rock’s River Market to give Arkansas men an option for truly custom-tailored suits. Not made-to-measure, which means a premade suit with slight customizations, but 100 percent custom—patterned, cut, and sewn for each client. “I love when a guy walks in and says he doesn’t know what he wants,” Filat says. Drinks are served, usually of the distilled, aged, and brown variety, before Filat gets down to business. An appointment typically lasts a few hours—longer if you avail yourself of the pop-up barber or shoe-shine services on the premises. It starts with fabric samples, everything from Holland & Sherry tweed, milled in England, to weighty wool/cashmere blends by Vitale Barberis Canonico in Italy. Then comes a barrage of measurements, an experience that at one time would have required a passport and a trip to London’s Savile Row. barakatbespoke.com

A close shave at Barakat Bespoke.

photo: Rett Peek

A close shave at Barakat Bespoke.

Shockoe Atelier
Richmond, Virginia

Shockoe jeans.

photo: Sully Sullivan

Shockoe jeans.

Raised outside Milan, Italy, Shockoe Atelier’s founder, Anthony Lupesco, learned the fashion trade from his father, Pierre, a clothier with half a century’s experience at luxury suiting brands such as Belvest and Isaia. So it’s only natural that he brings a European sensibility to the clothes that line the shelves of his industrial-style workshop in Richmond’s historic Shockoe Bottom neighborhood. He started in 2012 with jeans, using selvage denim from Cone Mills in Greensboro, North Carolina, tailored slim and sewn on-site. This fall, Lupesco will debut Shockoe’s first full collection, a line of shirts, sport jackets, and outerwear. shockoeatelier.com

Haymakers & Co.
Nashville, Tennessee

Mike Mahaffey moved to Nashville in 1986 to write songs, but he found his true calling as the owner of J. Michaels Clothier, a Music City institution known for high-end men’s apparel. When Mahaffey and his business partner, Jim Brandon, noticed an influx of millennial transplants a few years ago, they launched Haymakers to bring leaner cuts and brands like Apolis, Gant, Barbour, and Gitman Tailored to the city’s young Turks. “There was no place for those guys to shop,” Mahaffey says. This fall the team debuts a line of modern suits sewn in Tennessee. haymakersandco.com

Ethyl 3.9
Louisville, Kentucky

This menswear store’s co-owner Sam Bassett says that opening in the hip NuLu shopping district a month before Derby season earlier this year was a happy accident. “Everyone feels like they need hats around Derby time, and we’ve got ’em,” he says. In addition to dapper toppers, Ethyl 3.9 stocks other Derby uniform essentials: handmade bow ties by Kiriko, sharp jackets by Jack Spade and Billy Reid, and locally made leather goods by Tasman Industries. ethyl39.com

The Sporting District
San Antonio, Texas

Sean McNelis wanted everything he sold in the Sporting District, in San Antonio, to come from the South. Only the hangtags on shoelaces are stamped with “carpetbagger” because he hasn’t found a Southern company that makes shoelaces…yet. Everything else—Austin-made denim by Traveller, Trask loafers cobbled in Nashville, and apothecary items such as beard oil and aftershave from Savannah’s Prospector Co.—is marked with its state of origin below the Mason-Dixon. sportingdistrict.com



FOR HER

Montrose Shop
Houston, Texas

Pared-down classics at Montrose Shop.

photo: Jack Thompson

Soft Sell

Pared-down classics at Montrose Shop.

At Montrose Shop, the newest women’s apparel and lifestyle boutique in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood, less is definitely more. With its modern backdrop of white walls and pale wood floors, the store sells a mix of beautifully made “forever” pieces that embody the timeless, French-influenced sense of style the owners, Kim Nguyen and Juley Le, observed in their native New Orleans. “We took a lot of inspiration from growing up in the South,” Le says. “We wanted to showcase the best of everything, but not a lot of everything.” Neat rows of jeans in worn washes by Siwy Denim hang beside cozy Le Mont St Michel jackets, Heidi Merrick silk dresses, and soft Eberjey jersey pajamas. Although the aesthetic of the shop may lean minimal, it’s anything but sterile. Housed in a twenties bungalow, the showroom includes a working fireplace, a welcoming sitting area, and offerings that extend beyond apparel, from hard-to-find coffee-table books to Southern textiles and ceramics. The importance of championing a storefront in our digital era isn’t lost on Nguyen and Le. “My favorite part of the day,” Le says, “is talking to customers and hearing their reactions.” montroseshop.com

Montrose co-owner Juley Le.

photo: Jack Thompson

Montrose co-owner Juley Le.

CCH Collection
Richmond, Virginia

Style runs in the family for sisters Alston Armfield and Carter Johnston of Richmond. The duo, who founded the clothing label CCH Collection (named after their maternal grandmother, Catherine Claiborne Hall) three years ago after fashion stints with Theory, wanted to bring the entire collection to life. They opened the doors to their shop on Grove Avenue in 2014. The mix includes the brand’s signature printed silk blouses and dresses, modern jackets, and pants tailored in ultraflattering silhouettes, as well as jewelry by the Southern designers behind Holst + Lee and Twine & Twig. cchcollection.com

Sunroom
Austin, Texas

Shopping at Sunroom (which moves to Austin’s South Congress Hotel this fall) is a little like going on vacation to a far-flung locale and coming back with something equal parts memento and wearable art. The owner, Lucy Jolis, grew up in Virginia, but her family’s move to California when she was in high school honed her love of all things tied to sun and surf. From ready-to-wear looks by Electric Feathers to her stock of Venezuelan Yosuzi hats to beaded creations by Texas-based Growing Jewelry, Jolis seeks out pieces with a one-of-a-kind spirit. “Our customers don’t want a garment that’s been mass-produced,” she says. “They want something different.” sunroomaustin.com



FOR HIM & HER

Henry & June
Atlanta, Georgia

Husband-and-wife store owners Jim and Camryn Chambers have tapped into a genuine sense of community in Atlanta with Henry & June, a friendly neighborhood clothing boutique that doubles as a friendly neighborhood coffee shop. Perusing contemporary pieces such as Rachel Comey dresses and Journal blazers while sipping from the menu is one-stop shopping at its most stylish. The list of Southern designers is compelling, too, from dresses by Atlanta designer Megan Huntz to shoes by Nashville’s Nisolo. henryandjuneatl.com

Krewe du optic
New Orleans, Louisiana

Sunglasses by Krewe du optic.

photo: Sully Sullivan

Sunglasses by Krewe du optic.

Eyewear designer Stirling Barrett, a New Orleans native, funnels the free-spirited energy of his hometown into every layer of his business—from the handmade glasses to the retail experience. “A lot of people come to New Orleans to let loose—in other words, to be themselves,” Barrett says. “We want to celebrate that individual style.” At Krewe’s new flagship store—it opened in the French Quarter in August—the staff pairs personalities with frames, which merge iconic and modern details. Krewe’s fans include Beyoncé and the model Gigi Hadid, so you never know whom you might bump into. kreweduoptic.com


SPORTING

Cole Gunsmithing
Naples, Florida

In the universe of Beretta shotguns, Rich Cole is a gunsmithing master. After apprenticing at Beretta in Maryland, his home state, and in Italy, he moved to Maine, where his reputation grew for Beretta shotgun repairs and customization. A few years ago, Rich and his wife, Jona, headed to fashionable Naples, Florida, to scout out a winter home (and semiretirement). In 2011 they equipped a gunsmithing shop in a backyard shed for Rich, until word spread and business boomed. The next step involved opening a stunning 7,700-square-foot industrial space featuring a gun room with honey-hued wood and marble cases to display new Perazzis, Berettas, and Caesar Guerinis, in addition to a selection of pre-owned shotguns. Rich is usually at the bench in his apron, making repairs or building a Cole Custom Beretta distinguished by exceptional walnut and engraving. colegun.com

A sampling of shotguns at Cole Gunsmithing.

photo: Jason Myers

Hunt and Gather

A sampling of shotguns at Cole Gunsmithing.

Jones Fly Co.
Nashville, Tennessee

Step into pretty much any fly-fishing shop these days and what you’ll find is an assemblage of mass-produced flies and tackle, primarily made in China. That’s decidedly not the case at Jones Fly Co. The co-owners, Peter Jones and Dave Tieman, have instead taken the artisanal route, tapping into the same spring that has propelled the growing desire for small-batch liquors and locally grown food. All flies at Jones Fly Co. are hand tied on-site, using materials that Jones and Tieman obtain—buck tails and hard-to-find feathers. They dye most of the material themselves. “We can produce some pretty wild colors,” Jones says. The full-service shop, which also offers a guiding service on nearby rivers such as the Caney Fork, Cumberland, Duck, and Buffalo, carries as many American-made items as possible, including handcrafted pocketknives and bags made from recycled waders. Jones and Tieman have created a shop that is thoroughly modern, but also retro: This is the way all fly shops used to operate—selling goods made by hand, with care and a colorful backstory. jonesfly.com



HOME & GARDEN

Charleston Garden Works
Charleston, South Carolina

Patrick Bradley and Glen Gardner, of Charleston Garden Works, with an array of antique garden pieces.

photo: Tec Petaja

Patrick Bradley and Glen Gardner, of Charleston Garden Works, with an array of antique garden pieces.

Charleston landscape architect Glen Gardner remembers the fruitless searches. They began anytime a client needed that special piece—a carved-stone planter or a cast-iron urn showing age and character. He’d scour antiques stores or bide his time waiting for estate sales. “I couldn’t just run down to the local garden center,” he says. To solve the problem, he and Patrick Bradley started Charleston Garden Works, the region’s newest source dedicated to high-quality outdoor antiques. They still search—“we both love the thrill of the hunt,” Gardner says—but now focus the search on expanding their inventory, which is set to debut this fall as part of the Fritz Porter Design Collective inside the freshly renovated nineteenth-century cigar factory on East Bay Street. You’ll find many one-of-a-kind pieces there, including antique statuary, planters, water features, and outdoor lighting fixtures. In particular, the two are always on the lookout for rare cast-iron pieces from foundries in New Orleans and Charleston. “We want to open people’s eyes to furnishing the outside of their homes with amazing pieces, not just the interior,” Gardner says. charlestongardenworks.com

The Curious Orange Store
Charlottesville, Virginia

Roderick Coles calls the twenty-first-century South a “migrational, cultural mixing bowl” and takes a similarly eclectic approach with his 2,400-square-foot treasure trove of good taste. Located in an industrial building on Charlottesville’s western outskirts, the Curious Orange Store combines nineteenth-century chests with vibrant Italian modern lounge chairs and midcentury lighting. A former musician and recording engineer, Coles remixes the shop’s interior a couple of times a year. “I churn it—put together a different look using different materials and fabrics. It’s the same creative principle as producing music.” thecuriousorangestore.com

Darryl Carter
Washington, D.C.

If Darryl Carter is a rock star of Southern interior design, his D.C. boutique is like a greatest hits album. Occupying a beautifully transformed nineteenth-century building in the hip, historic Shaw neighborhood, his shop contains skillfully curated antiques and art, along with custom pieces of Carter’s design, including dinnerware that he created with a local ceramist, made-to-order upholstered furniture, and private-label textiles. Like Carter’s designs, the shop is anything but fussy. Repurposed architectural elements, such as a magnificent stone arch salvaged from a Virginia estate, give the space a handsome elegance. darrylcarter.com

We Took to the Woods
Greenville, South Carolina

We Took to the Woods is as distinctive as its name—part home and gift store, part floral design studio, part seasonal design exhibit. Just a block off North Main Street, the Greenville shop is a warmly intimate feast for the senses. The inspiration for the store came from its co-owner Mary Campbell’s love of nature and the march of the seasons. In her own home, Campbell loves replacing blankets, pillows, and accessories to match the moods of fall and spring. “As the seasons change, the store changes as well,” she says. This autumn, the interior will feature tartan throws by Johnstons of Elgin, crystal candlesticks, French china by Gien, and vintage antler mounts, as well as the store’s own line of scented candles. wetooktothewoods.com

The Commons
Charleston, South Carolina

A peaceful gem tucked into a carriage house in a leafy courtyard off Charleston’s bustling Broad Street, the Commons is co-owned by Erin Connelly and Kerry Clark Speake, who share an affinity for design integrity, thanks to their former jobs designing for the classic American brands Levi Strauss and Eddie Bauer, respectively. The shop offers an encyclopedic array of American-made pieces for home and garden, from Southern-made brass utensils by Georgia’s ME Speak Design to sleek lighting by Workstead to ceramic birdhouses by MQuan studio. Up next: launching the first items in their Shelter Collection—glassware designed in-house and made in North Carolina. the-commons.us

A new glassware line by the owner of the Commons.

photo: Sully Sullivan

A new glassware line by the owner of the Commons.

Wilder
Nashville, Tennessee

Ivy and Josh Elrod have created a store in Germantown that singles out furniture, tableware, lighting, and mirrors like museum objects against the space’s bare white walls. The former New Yorkers—Josh is a painter, actor, drummer, and onetime member of the Blue Man Group; Ivy is a dancer, writer, and actor—brought their artistic sensibilities back to Josh’s home city. At Wilder, they carry everything from wood and metal furniture by the Texan designers at Garza Marfa to sleek garden containers by Modernica. But the duo’s exclusive collaborations are what make the concept really shine. Case in point: Last spring, they debuted a line of textiles with the Memphis artist and photographer William Eggleston’s daughter, Andra Eggleston, based on her father’s drawings and printed in the South. wilderlife.com

214 Modern Vintage
High Point, North Carolina

214 Modern Vintage's Stephanie Schofield and Hilary Eklund.

photo: Stacey Van Berkel

Mod Squad

214 Modern Vintage’s Stephanie Schofield and Hilary Eklund.

Many of the design professionals who converge biannually on the High Point Market in North Carolina know to arrive early to visit 214 Modern Vintage, the town’s source for pedigreed midcentury design. Housed in a 1920s storefront, the shop is filled with eye candy: impeccable furniture, art, and decorative objects curated by its co-owners Stephanie Schofield and Hilary Eklund, along with five aesthetically simpatico partners from around the country, each with a specific area of expertise, such as period lighting or abstract art. You might find Stilnovo and Venini chandeliers or lamps by Ugo Zaccagnini; vintage American-made furniture designed by Milo Baughman, Edward Wormley, and others; there are even twentieth-century couture bags and jewelry from Chanel, Hermès, Tiffany, Dior, and Bulgari. Schofield and Eklund value scholarship and provide as much background as possible on the artists, designers, and fabricators whose wares they carry. Though people often associate High Point with traditional furniture, “the South is not just about traditional style anymore,” Schofield says. “A new crop of Southern designers is really pushing the envelope.” 214 Modern Vintage is open only during the fall and spring market weeks, but Schofield will gladly open by appointment all year. 214modernvintage.com

Some of their mid-century finds.

photo: Stacey Van Berkel

Some of their mid-century finds.



LARDER & BAR

Salt and Sundry
Washington, D.C.

At Washington’s Salt and Sundry, you can buy pantry staples like Langdon Wood maple syrup, aged in used rye whiskey barrels from Cactoctin Creek Distilling Company in Loudon County, Virginia, and all the elements of a beautiful place setting, such as tabletop ceramics by Honeycomb Studio in Atlanta. You can even buy the supper table itself, crafted from salvaged wood by shopkeeper Amanda McClements’s father, who is a carpenter. McClements, a former food writer, opened her flagship Union Market location in 2012 and a second Salt and Sundry outpost in the Logan Circle neighborhood last year. shopsaltandsundry.com

Lowcountry Produce
Beaufort, South Carolina

302 Carteret Street has been an important address in Beaufort, South Carolina, for almost a century. First it was a post office, and then it was city hall. Today it’s a breezy market and café where locals get together over warm buttermilk biscuits and fried-to-order yeast doughnuts. “A lot of people say the store feels like the community center,” says Noel Garrett, part owner of a family business that began more than twenty years ago at a produce stand ten miles outside town. He sells local vegetables at the urban outpost, but also stocks everything from green tomato relish to grits milled nearby to take-home containers of pimento cheese and chicken salad. “We have always said that if we’re going to be in the restaurant business, it’s going to be real food,” Garrett says. Many of the provisions on the shelves also count among the fifty-some items Lowcountry Produce sells to stores all over the country (including Dean & DeLuca), inspired by family recipes and hand made in a kitchen behind the produce stand. It’s the sort of old-fashioned fare that attracts both twenty-somethings and customers who have taken home locally grown vegetables since long before they became fashionable. And even people who can’t tell collards from chard line up for the doughnuts. “They’re nothing fancy,” Garrett says. “Just glazed. But they are melt-in-your-mouth good.” lowcountryproduce.com

The café at Lowcountry Produce.

photo: Margaret Houston

The café at Lowcountry Produce.

Hey Rooster General Store
Nashville, Tennessee

What was once a bleak artery in a down-on-its-luck corner of Nashville is now an exciting and thriving place to be for Courtney Webb, proprietor of the modern general store Hey Rooster. “The pantry is the part I love the most, and the culinary theme runs through everything,” she says. Webb’s spot is stocked with essentials for food-loving residents, from North Carolina’s Big Spoon Roasters nut butters to Nashville’s own Walker Feed Bloody Mary mix. Webb also sells flowers from a small farm in Bells Bend, Tennessee. Freshly cut dahlias and gourds will arrive just in time for autumn centerpieces. heyrooster.com

Courtney Webb of Hey Rooster General Store.

photo: Tec Petaja

Window Shopping

Courtney Webb of Hey Rooster General Store.

Proper Sausages
Miami, Florida

London native Danielle Kaufmann was feeling homesick in Miami. On the fringe of the tropics, she couldn’t find a sausage worthy of her go-to gravy recipe, so she and her husband, Freddy, invested in a meat grinder and went to work re-creating Danielle’s “proper” British links with pork, black pepper, and sage. Then they got creative, opening a charming shop a mile and a half from the beach, where they’re creating new traditions such as fig and blue cheese sausage, and bacon cured with habanero, allspice, and thyme. “We’re not playing by anybody’s rules,” Freddy says. If you’re stuck without quality links, they ship: overnight, never frozen. propersausages.com

Front Porch
The Plains, Virginia

For his brand-new Virginia marketplace and restaurant, Front Porch, Dan Myers is interested in goods with great stories. “I like to take the time to get to know everyone we carry,” he says. “That’s Southern to me. And I enjoy passing those conversations and stories on to our customers.” Front Porch’s first floor is stocked with dry goods and such kitchen essentials as Lindera Farms vinegars, made a few miles down the road, and salt from West Virginia’s J. Q. Dickinson Salt-Works. Upstairs is a full-service restaurant, and out front is the porch that gives the place its name. Grab a drink from the bar and watch small-town life unfold. frontporchtheplains.com

Pearl Wine Co.
New Orleans, Louisiana

Perfect New Orleans pairings from Pearl Wine Co.

photo: Sully Sullivan

Perfect New Orleans pairings from Pearl Wine Co.

Leora Madden didn’t think she’d ever come home, but then Hurricane Katrina hit, and she left a balmy life in California to help dig New Orleans out of the muck. It felt like the right thing to do, but she missed the Western wine culture, so she opened her own wine shop, bringing a bit of it to the Big Easy. Madden claims to have tasted every vintage she sells, which helps explain the confidence that has earned her admiring followers in a city with plenty of well-known drinkeries. She puts her knowledge on display at the in-shop bar, where she pairs wines and cocktails with anything from cheeses to red beans and rice. And if you walk out a bottle short, she also delivers. pearlwineco.com



ARTS & CULTURE

Gregg Irby Gallery
Atlanta, Georgia

“Our mission has always been about discovery,” says Gregg Irby, whose Atlanta gallery seeks out and nurtures emerging artists, many of them Southern and gaining representation for the first time. With a new Westside location four times as large as her old one, Irby has much more wall space to work with, which means you’ll find the work of such rising talents as Alabama native Kate Merritt Davis and Charlestonian Raven Roxanne Wilson alongside canvases by some of the gallery’s veteran artists, including Georgia’s Michelle Armas and Erin McIntosh, at price points for every budget. Because Irby believes purchasing art shouldn’t be an intimidating endeavor, the gallery is as approachable and friendly as the colorful abstract paintings that hang on its walls. Feel free to ask questions. Take home a painting (or three) on loan, and simply bring back what doesn’t work. For Irby, the only thing more thrilling than discovering a new artist is pairing that artist’s work with the right client. “Buy what you love,” she says. “If it grabs you, it works.” greggirbygallery.com

Gregg Irby in her new Atlanta gallery, which specializes in emerging artists.

photo: Emily Followill

Off The Wall

Gregg Irby in her new Atlanta gallery, which specializes in emerging artists.

Malvern Books
Austin, Texas

Sandwiched between a pizza parlor and a head shop on the edge of the University of Texas campus, Malvern Books is as much a townie hangout as it is an indie bookstore. At the center of Joe Bratcher’s shop, which sells independent fiction and poetry, is a collection of tables and chairs that invite customers to sit and stay awhile. Most of Malvern’s 4,000-plus titles aren’t found in any other area bookstore. Bratcher has owned Host Publications, a small press, for more than twenty years, and has an eye for homegrown talent. On his fall reading list: Austin author Fernando A. Flores’s Death to the Bullshit Artists of South Texas. malvernbooks.com

Ellis Hill
Dallas, Texas

Like Mary Poppins’s seemingly bottomless handbag, Kerri Davis and Margretta Wikert’s shop in Highland Park Village appears to defy physical limitations, holding more luxury paper goods than you’d think possible inside 475 square feet. The duo help clients select everything from hand-inked calligraphy to custom envelope liners for personal stationery to wedding invitations and beyond, including designs by Southern brands such as Lettered Olive and Bell’Invito. Bonus: Ellis Hill will emblazon custom monograms on nearly anything—from paper to leather-covered coolers (really). ellis-hill.com

The End of All Music
Oxford, Mississippi

David Swider admits his record shop isn’t much to look at from the outside, save for a hand-painted sign by the artist Bill Warren. But inside, the walls are plastered with album cover art. The store’s name is a nod to the late North Mississippi blues artist Junior Kimbrough, who was once called “the beginning and end of all music,” and the shop, which began as a collaboration with locally owned Fat Possum Records, predominantly sells vinyl—both new and used. The inventory skews toward vintage recordings and modern indie labels. But if you’re after the latest Emmylou album, they’ve got that too. theendofallmusic.com


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