As an Uptown resident, entrepreneur Jason Warrington figured that if he recognized a need for a contemporary, stylish men's store, so would his peers. With that in mind, he opened Press Menswear (7621 Maple St., 862-9908) around Labor Day as an alternative to more stodgy, expensive venues.
"I've lived Uptown for the last 10 years and there's never been a men's store in the Riverbend area," he says. "I wanted somewhere for myself to shop without having to go downtown.
"Most of my friends, and students from Tulane and Loyola, all did their shopping in Texas and New York when they went home on break and I did most of my shopping when I went on vacation. I wanted a place where you could go in and get something for the weekend or to liven up a suit without having to go downtown."
Outside, Press Menswear maintains the traditional shotgun style of the area, but inside the shop is designed with clean lines, contemporary fixtures and easy-to-maneuver displays. His product lines include Kenneth Cole, Donna Karan, Joe's Jeans, Dan Sherman, LaCoste, Puma, Paul Frank, Penguin and others.
"The concept is dressy casual," says Warrington. "I'm not getting into suits, but I've got all the accessories to freshen up suits: shirts, cufflinks, ties." He also carries casual jackets and windbreakers and is adding new items as customers request them. This month he'll add Kenneth Cole shoes, a line he plans to expand for the spring. He stocks clothes and accessories for the young at heart that are found on the pages of GQ magazine or in fine, more high-priced stores, but veers away from items that he characterizes as "obscenely priced."
"I've got some of the same brands as like Saks (Fifth Avenue), but it's a little younger target, between 18 and 24," he says, adding that he also moves toward more contemporary styles than some other men's shops in town. "I don't wear suits myself as a norm, unless I'm going to a special event or out to eat someplace special. I would wear anything in here."
Men aren't his only customers. About 20 percent to 25 percent of his customers are women who venture in to find fashion accessories, ties, cufflinks and shirts for their husbands and boyfriends.
Another focus of Warrington is to keep expanding and changing merchandise in order to keep the fashions fresh and make sure he has new things for regular customers to discover.
"I want it to be a boutique where you won't see too many of one thing," he says. "I only order about six of each item, and once something is gone, I don't necessarily re-order. I want to keep it fresh, so if a guy comes in every other week, he will always see something different."
A Free Lesson
Historian and educator James Anderson will discuss the court decision that brought about desegregation of the nation's education system during a free lecture at 6 p.m. Nov. 20 at Longue Vue House and Gardens (7 Bamboo Road). The talk is part of a third annual conference hosted by Dillard University and Longue Vue, titled "African-American Education in the South: Historical, Current and Future Analysis of the Relationship Between Community, Philanthropy and Public Education." Anderson's speech will be followed by a reception. The summit is free and open to the public.
Anderson was chosen because of his expertise in the field of African-American education. He is author of The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935 and participated in the documentary School: History of Public Education.
A New 'Do in the Marigny
Residents looking for a top-notch hair salon in the Marigny need look no further. Atria Salon (839 Spain St., 948-4240) opened late last month and specializes in fashion-forward hair coloring and styling services.
Stylists from Atria, a high-end salon with two other locations in South Bend, Ind., last month were featured on The Learning Channel's A Makeover Story. Co-owners Gail Getz-Ferrara and David Harrington, a Louisiana native, have trained and styled internationally with salons including Vidal Sasson, Toni and Guy, and Jose Eber.
Achievement for Juniors
Junior Achievement's new Exchange City -- New Orleans (Delgado Community College, 5100 Orleans Ave., 877-JA4-KIDS) opened last week, offering local school children an opportunity to learn about life by practicing governmental, business and financial transactions in a simulated city.
The "city" on the campus of Delgado Community College will include a life-sized working bank, city hall, post office and about a dozen other businesses in which children will learn how to navigate the enterprises by working with them. Fifth-grade students at Mildred Osborne Elementary will be among the first schoolchildren to participate in the program and will act as mayor and council members for the city as well as business people and consumers.
- The contemporary design of Press Menswear matching the contemporary clothing styles for men, which range from suit accessories to casual wear.