Location: 14 stores in the U.S. and overseas
Owners: Stefani Greenfield and Uzi Ben-Abraham
In 13 years, Scoop’s enterprising owners have grown their premium retail concept into an international favorite for the contemporary fashion crowd. This year, though, Greenfield and Ben-Abraham opened up their empire to outside expertise, bringing in president and CEO Melanie Cox. The company also added Melvin Murry as its men’s DMM, replacing Lori Swersky, who jumped ship for Saks Fifth Avenue. Scoop’s 14 retail iterations, 10 of which include Men’s, rake in around $1,500 in sales per square foot.
17. LISA KLINE MEN
Location: Los Angeles
Owner: Lisa Kline
Despite the store’s cheeky logo referencing the naked-lady silhouettes usually found on semi-trailer mudflaps, Lisa Kline Men is anything but girly. California casual pervades at the Robertson Boulevard institution, one of Kline’s four locations in the L.A. area. (She opened her first shop on Robertson in 1995.) Homegrown brands comprise much of the assortment, including Modern Amusement, Howe and premium denim from Joe’s Jeans and Cohesive.
18. NEIMAN MARCUS
Location: 39 around the country
Owner: Neiman Marcus Group
Although the retailer has finally felt the results of the recession, its focus remains steady: to provide the tastiest luxury merchandise available from the market’s finest companies, including Zegna, Armani, John Varvatos and William Rast. Looking ahead, the company will bring its enviable assortment to six new cites over the next several years.
19. VILLAINS/VILLAINS VAULT
Location: Three stores in San Francisco
Owner: David Engel
San Francisco is a city that prides itself on being progressive, and Villains Vault ensures that label applies to men’s wear as well. The denim-friendly retailer opened up as Villains on Haight Street in 1986, and spawned the higher end Vault in 1997. There’s also a Villains Shoes store nearby. Villains general manager Randy Brewer prides himself on under-the-radar lines like Kicking Mule Workshop and City of Others for its upscale customers, and Analog and WeSC for its street-savvy style setters. The stores pull in $7 million in sales annually.
Location: West Hollywood
Owner: Tommy Perse
Many L.A. boutiques beckon customers with busy window displays and anodyne decor. Maxfield is not one of them. The store offers, arguably, the most avant-garde shopping experience in L.A. One is greeted by a smooth concrete facade and ominous sculptures reminiscent of those found on Easter Island. Inside is a men’s and women’s mix straight from the Paris runways, in addition to one of the largest vintage Hermès collections around. Lanvin, Balenciaga and Junya Watanabe are among the men’s offerings for fall.
Location: Three stores in Chicago and Winnetka, Ill.
Owners: Lance Lawson and Jim Wetzel
This chic Chicago boutique has evolved from its more casual denim-centric roots to a sophisticated shopping destination for the Midwest’s fashion-forward set. A well-edited selection of eclectic labels like Band of Outsiders, Oliver Spencer and Nice Collective, which can sometimes be hard to find outside of New York, has kept Chicago’s urban sophisticates flocking to Jake. Since opening the first store in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood five years ago, founders Jim Wetzel and Lance Lawson have extended their reach to include a boutique in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, an outpost in the upscale suburb of Winnetka, as well as a Web site, Shopjake.com.
22. STANLEY KORSHAK
Owner: Crawford Brock
Even in a town with four Neiman Marcus stores, this vaunted uptown landmark still reigns over the Big D’s retail scene. With a staff that rarely turns over, Stanley Korshak is a beacon for the city’s luxury shoppers who spend top dollar for clothing and sportswear from the likes of Belvest, Brioni and Isaia. Even in this economy, the ultra-luxe Kiton brand is the men’s store’s top seller. Traditional and upmarket brands continue to be Stanley Korshak’s best business; earlier this year Brock downsized the men’s offering at his contemporary boutique, The Shak, as his customers shun denim for more gentlemanly looks.
23. SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Location: 53 around the country
Owner: Saks Inc.
The new men’s team at Saks Fifth Avenue has inherited a spot-on assortment of luxury merchandise ranging from Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss to Antik Denim and Joe’s Jeans. The next thrust is a heightened focus on accessories and shoes, as well as a renewed emphasis on successful modern/contemporary brands.
24. SOUTH WILLARD
Location: Los Angeles
Owners: Ryan Conder and Danielle Kays
On South Willard’s Web site, cofounder Ryan Conder seems less preoccupied with e-commerce and more invested in cultivating taste—political, epicurean or otherwise. Perhaps the boutique’s goods don’t require added shilling, thus the owner’s thoughtful blog eclipsing the online store. Raf Simons button-front wovens and Dries van Noten knit cardigans are particular standouts in South Willard’s quiet, cozy confines, as is a thoughtful shoe selection from Common Projects, Quoddy Trail Shoes and other niche brands. Look for a South Willard private label collection for spring 2009.
25. STEVEN ALAN
Location: Five stores in New York and three stores in L.A.
Owner: Steven Alan
Steven Alan’s mini-empire includes multibrand flagships in Tribeca, N.Y., and in Venice, Calif., and six monobrand stores that sell his private label collection, which has become best known for its casually wrinkled dress shirts. An outlet store is set to open in L.A. this winter. Alan’s aesthetic tends to emphasize low-key but sophisticated style, with key brands in his flagship including RRL, Rag & Bone, Nice Collective, Acne, A.P.C., Engineered Garments, Opening Ceremony and Woolrich. The stores ring up about $1,500 per square foot, according to Alan, who also runs an e-commerce site in addition to a showroom that sells brands including Cassette, Relwen and Simon Miller Jeans.
Location: Los Angeles
Owner: Fraser Ross
A paparazzo’s stakeout shortlist invariably includes Kitson on Robertson Boulevard, which lures sightseers and starlets alike. L.A. continues to be Ross’s retail epicenter, with another two-level store on Melrose Avenue opening this month, followed by a men’s-only door in the Malibu Lumber Yard. Global ambition isn’t off the table, however. Expect a future rollout of stores in Japan.
Location: Flagship in Newport Beach, Calif.; additional locations in Orange County and San Diego County
Owners: Dick, John and Kari Braeger
A landmark of tailored clothing and fine sportswear, Garys has grown into one of southern California’s preeminent men’s wear destinations. Originally founded in Brentwood nearly 40 years ago by Gary Wasserman, the business was bought in 1984 by former Cole Haan owner Dick Braeger, who built a presence for the retailer in Orange County that now comprises 12 locations, ranging from casualwear and women’s apparel to home furnishings. In men’s, Garys is home to one of the world’s largest independent Zegna accounts.