The owners of Capitol, the women’s specialty store in Charlotte, N.C., have launched a 3,000-square-foot brother, Tabor.
Capitol owner Laura Vinroot Poole and her husband, Perry, had been thinking about opening a men’s store for years, but always hesitated. “We thought the men in Charlotte were conservative,” Vinroot Poole said. “What I started to see and hear is that the men were buying their clothes in New York or while traveling or online. They were really pursuing fashion, but having to do it in other places.”
Vinroot Poole has catered to the women of Charlotte for the past 18 years with designers such as Valentino, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and Mary Katrantzou. The Poole Shop on Capitol’s second floor offers contemporary and emerging designers like Ulla Johnson, Athe by Vanessa Bruno and Raquel Allegra.
For Tabor, Vinroot Poole chose suits, sportswear and casualwear from brands such as RRL Ralph Lauren; Thom Browne; Alex Mills designed by Alex Drexler, son of Millard “Mickey” Drexler; APC; Dries Van Noten; Schott leather jackets, and Cuisse de Grenouille. In addition, Tabor offers shoes by Mark McNairy New Amsterdam and custom belts from the Wiley Brothers. Prices range from $200 to $2,000.
“Men shop differently than women,” Vinroot Poole said. “They give you a short window of time. They’re very direct and they have no resistance to price. If they like something, they want three of it.”
Vinroot Poole said the male uniform in the South has evolved from polo shirts and khaki pants “to a more individual interpretation of the classics. Men are comfortable taking risks, embracing prints and colors in new ways and experimenting with progressive cuts and fabrications.”
Tabor is Vinroot Poole’s middle name. “I like it because it sounds masculine and old and pretty,” she said. The store is housed in a Twenties bungalow that was restored by Perry, an architect. Interior designer Scott Newkirk populated it with vintage pieces by Jacques Adnet, Edward Wormley and George Nelson. Tabor is a 10-minute drive from Capitol and located in one of Charlotte’s oldest neighborhoods.
The store is sharing its space with a photographer friend of the Pooles’ who opened a gallery, SOCO, devoted to established and emerging photographers.
In addition to apparel, footwear and accessories, Tabor sells socks, pocket squares and even shaving cream and hand-crafted knives. The store has a vintage record shop, book shop and coffee bar.
The Pooles celebrated Tabor’s opening on Sunday with a pig roast, live music and beer, wine and cocktails. On Saturday, the couple entertained visiting designers including McNairy, Thorsun’s George Sotelo, Kirk Miller of Miller’s Oath, Chris and Kirk Bray of Billy Kirk, Marcus Wiley of Wiley Brothers and Alex Drexler at Charlotte Motor Speedway for NASCAR’s Bank of America 500 race.
Vinroot Poole has set the service bar high at Capitol. “We have weekly shipments to Madam Paulette for [clients’] dry cleaning and bring the clothes to their houses every week,” she said. “We pack for their trips and make restaurant reservations. When a bride and her mother buy couture gowns from us, we send ourselves to the wedding to zip them up. We bring our seamstress to make sure all the bridesmaids’ dresses are perfect. It’s part of the service.”
Poole said Tabor will “go above and beyond with concierge-style services from in-house alterations and dry cleaning to wardrobe assessments and custom stationery.”