I recently ran across a men’s boutique in Santa Cruz called Stripe Men. Linnae and I have been fans of their other women’s store for a couple of years now but I was equally impressed with the new masculine version of this boutique. As soon as I walked into Stripe Men I knew that I wanted to blog about it, and Janet (the store manager) was open to the idea as well.
The aesthetic here is clean and allows the individual pieces with character the opportunity to stand alone. A design like this looks simple enough but it takes a good eye and vision to put a style like this together. The genius of it all is that the design elements are composed of items that we see in everyday life yet they are repurposed for the sake of design. Whether it is a jar of old fuses or a woodpecker pole that is transformed into a belt rack, the cleverness of it all shines through. Melissa says that part of the fun is that they get to play with “rusty old bits,” which is apparent in collage antique locks that make up the Stripe Men sign that is hangs behind the register.
Janet also says that the store is doing well and that men and women alike are drawn into the space. There is a sense of masculinity to it all but it is not presented in a way that keeps the women away. Rather the ladies are drawn to Stripe Men, whether they are browsing for themselves or picking up gifts for the men in their lives, this store is not gender exclusive. The space is warm an inviting with different scents such as the Vetiver and Cardamom candles that work in conjunction with the ambiance.
As an event designer I am constantly looking for new inspiration and this store has been that for me. Designs like what is seen at Stripe Men are now popping up at events as well. Incorporating vintage items into event design is becoming not only more acceptable but a heavily desired look. Clients are looking for an aesthetic that meets their needs and mirrors their personality, much like Stripe does for their clientele.
Be sure to check out this store!
And THANK YOU Stripe Men, for being an inspiration in design.