Anthony Graziani’s Over-the-Rhine menswear shop, Article, has all the props that signify hipster cool: a Ducati motorcycle, stacks of logs, and an old baseball glove. But he’s hoping his shop delivers more than just a great vibe.
Frustrated by the lack of options for on-trend, young men’s clothing in Cincinnati, Graziani had an epiphany. “It’s either the big box retailers, who aren’t connected with the style of the city, or a store to buy suits,” he says. “We needed something else.” Last September, to provide an alternative, the 30-year-old opened his own shop. “I didn’t want this market to get left behind,” he says. “If you go to the J. Crew in Chicago, it’s completely different than the one here. Cincinnatians aren’t getting the best experience. I don’t think men hate shopping; I think of lot of them have never had good experiences.”
Article the store grew out of Article the blog, which Graziani started in December 2012. With the help of 3CDC, he secured a space in Over-the-Rhine’s Gateway Condos building, then started filling it with ruggedly chic high-quality casual wear for men. Racks of Private White VC outerwear and Billy Reid button down shirts share space with stacks of locally-made Noble Denim jeans and grooming gear—Juniper Ridge soaps and fragrances and Baxter of California shaving creams and moisturizers. The goal: provide everything a man needs to look and feel his best.
The concept—a well-stocked-and-curated men’s shop—is not new, of course. But after two decades of retail consolidation and online shopping, not to mention a societal dumbing down of menswear, it seems like guys have woken up to the fact that they dress like schlubs. Graziani sees a niche he can fill.
A couple of times each year, he travels to New York and Las Vegas buyers’ markets to seek out new goods. Graziani focuses as much as he can on American-made brands, but wherever the products come from, they must be built to last. “If you buy stuff at H&M or wherever, it doesn’t last more than a few months,” he says. “We want to bring people back to high-quality clothes.”
And that’s just a starting point. Graziani’s loftier goal is to instill confidence in men that can then be carried over into their everyday lives. “How you dress and take care of yourself shows,” he says. “Clothes can help someone be inspired and a community can be built around that, which will then feed into the city.”
1150 Vine St. #11, Over-the-Rhine, (513) 721-1150, articlemenswear.com
Originally published in April 2014 issue.