The moneyed, bucolic, and charming city of Charlotte, North Carolina—home to good Southern manners, famously sloppy but tasty BBQ and NASCAR—is now a menswear shopping destination with the opening of Tabor, the brother store to Capitol, which brought haute-chic, cutting-edge womenswear to the city years before. Tabor, which has an art gallery and bookstore attached to it, is well-curated in the best way possible. Think Mark McNairy New Amsterdam, Thom Browne, Engineered Garments, The Elder Statesman, and all those masculine, rugged labels with a cult following.
The opening weekend of Tabor attracted a who’s who of menswear mavericks like designer Mark McNairy, Alex Faherty of Faherty Brand, George Sotelo of Thorsun, and brothers Chris and Kirk Bray of Billykirk who embossed and stitched up leather wallets on the spot for customers. Bloggers Justin Livingston of Scout Sixteen, Zac and Clay Chambers of Brothers and Craft, and Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean all flew in to check out the sleek, modern bungalow, which was designed by Scott Newkirk to feel like a a men’s club you could hang out in all day.
We caught up with Laura Vinroot Poole, who runs Tabor and Capitol with husband, architect Perry Poole, to find out more about the new store.
The brands at Tabor are well curated—everything goes with everything and it feels modern but never trendy.
We started with a combination of things that we thought the client could handle, as well as things that will move the needle and allow Charlotte men to progress in their style. We also wanted to offer men some of the brands that we love at the women’s store, such as Thom Browne, Engineered Garments, and The Elder Statesman. I’ve been so impressed with Charlotte’s appetite for men’s fashion and have loved learning more about menswear myself. The men’s market is so much more relaxed than women’s and so much less dramatic. I worry that I’ll leave women’s fashion forever each time I return from men’s market!
Why did you add an art gallery next to the store?
My dear friend Chandra Johnson, Perry, and I have been interested in this project for some time. We really felt that the typical gallery and the typical men’s store are cold, tired, and uninviting. We thought that combining the two would completely change the customer experience and relationship to both, and it certainly has been the case. How amazing to buy a Liz Nielson photogram, a Thom Browne suit, and a first pressing of Exile on Main Street in one setting? For me, that’s absolute heaven.
Tabor is kind of like Capitol’s brother.
In many ways, yes, but it has been funny because I really thought that we had a built-in client with our Capitol clients and their husbands, and the reality has been that the men are coming in on their own accord. Men’s fashion is happening in such a big way that I never even imagined when we first discussed opening a men’s store. Men are coming to me at parties with images of looks that they want saved on their iPhones, the same way that my Capitol clients save images from the runway. I never, ever would have thought that this would be the case, but I am so thrilled that it is!