Founded in 1969, luxury men’s retailer The Clotherie (Biltmore Fashion Park, theclotherie.com) has endured traditional retail’s rocky road by keeping its finger on the pulse of fashion—while never allowing trends to take over. Here, the shop’s managing partner, Tom Simon, reveals what’s next for the award-winning Arizona institution.
PHOTO COURTESY OF TOM SIMON/THE CLOTHERIE
When did you first become interested in fashion and style? The 1960s. I was inspired by the British invasion bands, especially the late Rolling Stones band member Brian Jones.
How would you describe your own style? It’s updated, but definitely not trendy. I’m older but don’t think that should make men stop caring about being aware of what’s current stylewise.
When did you first become involved with The Clotherie? My first introduction was in 1977. I was hired by the founder, Jackson LaBaer, out of a record store where I was working at the time. It was my first luxury sales job.
Why do you think The Clotherie has endured, and how has it evolved? The main reason is our service. And, the store has always been about innovation. Most people don’t know that we launched many major men’s luxury lines throughout the ’70s and ’80s, including Canali, Eton, Ermenegildo Zegna and many more. We’ve faced many challenges as we evolved, starting with the death of founder Jackson LaBaer in 2007 and his successor, Greg Eveloff, in 2014. Currently I have taken over all aspects of the business. I’m going in a more contemporary direction. Suits are still a big part of our business, but we have expanded our selection of sportswear and casual goods.
What can readers expect next? We’ll be launching The Clotherie for women in our current space. We had a vibrant women’s business in the ’80s and the demand is here again now. In the next 18 months, we plan on moving to a new space and updating the look of the store.