DALLAS — Forty Five Ten here has almost doubled its roster of men’s designer collections for fall.
The boutique has picked up Balmain, DSquared, Rick Owens, Simon Spurr and Yves Saint Laurent — all exclusive in Dallas — plus Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten and Roland Mouret’s debut men’s collection.
Forty Five Ten already featured men’s wear by Alexander McQueen, Band of Outsiders and Thom Browne, and maintains Dallas exclusives for Givenchy, Maison Martin Margiela, Michael Bastian, Moschino, Lanvin, Viktor & Rolf and Yigal Azrouël.
“We have been in the men’s business for 10 years but finally realized we needed the critical mass to really be a destination,” said co-owner Brian Bolke. “We realized no one is carrying the new [men’s] collections we are carrying outside of New York, L.A. or Miami. There were so many brands with so little distribution, unlike women’s, which is cutthroat in Dallas.”
The category is expected to generate sales of $1,000 a square foot, in line with the rest of the store, which primarily features women’s avant-garde designer fashions, jewelry, accessories and shoes.
Bolke, who has a significant clientele of contemporary art collectors, looks for hip, wearable items that can be mixed and layered from year to year, some casual, some tailored, some deconstructed. There is no formula.
“We learned the hard way that you can’t have the attitude of ‘This sold well, so we will buy more next season,’ ” Bolke said. “We have to ask, ‘What does that guy who bought this want next?’ It keeps it fresh. We may buy Dries totally evening separates for fall and then totally casual for spring. The guy that bought the Dries black jacket for fall will hopefully want the Dries shorts for spring. But he doesn’t want another Dries black jacket. He has it. But he knows he likes Dries.”
Globe-Trotter luggage and jewelry by Werkstatt:München round out the 900-square-foot men’s area, which is peppered with books on architecture and photography and the occasional unisex fragrance, such as Comme des Garçons. The space formerly held tabletop items and dishware, which was moved into the lunch cafe at the rear of the store.
“With men — and all our customers — you just can’t dumb it down,” Bolke said. “They think they don’t need anything. But if they put on a YSL jacket and they feel great, they will buy it. Not because it is YSL, but because they feel great. And unlike a lot of women, they wear it to death — for years.”