Men's Style in Charlotte Gets an Upgrade
Laura Vinroot Poole is turning the tables in Charlotte to bring menswear to the forefront.
One our favorite Charlotteans, Laura Vinroot Poole—a modern style icon who kicks off our list of the 75 Most Stylish Southerners—has done it again. After offering up women's fashion with two successful boutiques—high-end Capitol, which features designers like Celine, Isabel Marant, and Tome; and her namesake store, Poole Shop, a slightly more accessible collection of brands like Self Portrait and Cynthia Rowley—Poole has decided to try her hand at menswear.
Tabor, which opened just this year and shares a space with art gallery, SOCO, is putting a fresh spin on men's fashion in the South. We asked Poole to give us the scoop on her latest venture that we've also newly added to our list of the South's Best Shops. Check out what she has to say:
What's the concept behind Tabor?
"Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., attracting all kinds of folks, which is exciting for a city that has historically been based primarily around banking. We now have all kinds of entrepreneurs and enthusiasts in arts, culture, dining and hospitality showing up. With that has come a worldly, curious, and sophisticated client. We knew from our experience buying for Capitol and Poole Shop that we already have a different perspective from what has traditionally been offered here. Tabor is an extension of what we've been doing for years, just geared toward the Charlotte man."
What can people expect to find inside?
"We seek to express an American sensibility—not that we only carry American designers, but rather we focus on finding designers from around the world who are as inspired by American sportswear as we are. For example, one of our staple brands is Engineered Garments. We love how the Japanese designer, Daiki, makes his aesthetic feel distinctly American."
What brands are you most excited about in the store and why?
"So many! Right now we're loving brands like Saturdays, which is surfing style translated into easy weekend wear; RRL, the quintessential, vintage-inspired American line—we're privileged to be one of the very few stores in the world that carries this collection—and Thom Browne, a brand that is inherently Southern with styles like seersucker suits and oxford cloth shirts, but has a totally new twist that's modern yet familiar."
Tell us about the Tabor space.
"It's a restored 2,000-square-foot, 1920s bungalow that was originally a longstanding bachelor pad (I love that part of the story!). My husband, Perry, is the creative force behind Tabor and the store's architect. He oversaw extensive renovations to transform the space into a more open, airy interior featuring mid-century modern fixtures. Our visual director, Scott Newkirk, collaborated with us on the particular furnishings with unique vintage modern pieces from the likes of Jean Prouvé and George Nelson."
How is Tabor moving men's style in the South forward?
"Men's style in the South has been stuck in decades past in a lot of ways. For a large part, that's because men haven't had the right access points to the designers they are reading about or seeing as they travel elsewhere. For the first time, there is truly an awareness about what is out in the market and, even better, the proper portals for men to translate what they are seeing into their lives through stores like our own and major players like Billy Reid and Sid Mashburn."