By Shani Silver

Published on October 29, 2015

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Photography by Chris Edwards

Sometimes a brand, even a store is more than simply a place to shop, but rather a source of inspiration for an entire lifestyle. Such is true of Tabor, the highly anticipated mens destination in Charlotte, NC, sister store to the much-loved Capitol. We spoke with store owners Laura Vinroot Poole & Perry Poole to connect further

with the Tabor world.

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IS TABOR SOMETHING YOU ALWAYS KNEW YOU WANTED TO CREATE?

Laura:

 It’s been a thought for as many years as Capitol has been in existence.  Perry recently found a list that we created one night brainstorming five or six years ago that reflects almost exactly what we ended up building with Tabor–it was definitely in the cards for us.

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WHAT INSPIRED TABOR?

Laura:

 It was certainly inspired at our clients’ request, but also by what’s happening with menswear right now.  There is so much creativity and energy in this sector and as men traveled outside of Charlotte they were excited about what they were seeing, but were not able to find it in Charlotte.  Tabor was created to fill that void.

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DID YOU HAVE SPECIFIC DESIGN GOALS FOR THE SPACE? 

Perry:

 I’ve looked at and loved the building for years – I was struck by its potential on my drive home every day.  I was especially taken by the porch and the courtyard and saddened that those spaces weren’t utilized.  This is certainly far from the case now.

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Tabor is actually a house – a 1920s bungalow that was known as a raucous bachelor house (very fitting for its reincarnation as men’s store). Working with and turning a house into a business is always difficult – especially one with a history behind it.  Do you keep the maze of rooms that will allow a customer to discover each or do you open and lighten? I chose the latter – I think it was the right choice given the programs of each business, the building’s location, and the site it occupies.

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For the exterior, we chose to paint the building ‘Panther Black’ (a deep, rich black) to contrast the luminosity of the interior.  This juxtaposition creates a shock factor when clients first walk in and experience the light, open space.  All of the elements we chose were by design and an intentional effort to break the cliché of the typical men’s store with heavy walnut displays and overstuffed chairs. We worked on the interiors with the enormously talented Scott Newkirk (New Yorker by way of Mississippi) who furnished the spaces with unique vintage pieces by art deco masters Jacques Adnet, Edward Wormley and George Nelson.

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WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

Laura:

 The biggest challenge was, and still is, exposing Southern men to new ideas and looks that they might not be comfortable with yet.  But, it’s also the most rewarding aspect.  We watch men gravitate toward unfamiliar designers and out of their comfort zone. They consistently surprise themselves and us.

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WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING LOCATED IN CHARLOTTE?

Laura: 

I love the curiosity in Charlotte right now – people here tend to be well traveled and interested in the world around them, which translates to a desire for new experiences.  This growing interest in art and fashion is also good for business!

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WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS (OTHER THAN YOUR OWN!) IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD?

Laura:

 The Duke Mansion across the street is one of my favorite destinations in the city – it’s Doris Duke’s childhood home and one of the last remaining true expressions of historic Charlotte.

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WHAT IS ONE COMPONENT OF THE TABOR LIFESTYLE YOU WISH EVERYONE KNEW?

Laura: 

I wish everyone knew, or rather could feel, how energizing the space is – the light is truly incredible and the social nature of the space with its wrap-around porch and courtyard makes me never want to leave.  How incredible is it to be able to buy an Elder Statesman 16-ply sweater, a Jimmy Reid album, and a Lyle Owerko Boom Box photograph at once??

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HOW WAS THE PARTY?? ANY FAVORITE MEMORIES YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? 

Laura:

 The party was just super fun…it was the perfect southern Fall day, the food was fantastic, and Justin Townes Earle gave a killer performance.  It was even better than I imagined and that doesn’t happen very often.

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The most memorable part for me was watching the interactions between the clients, designers and bloggers who came down for the opening. It was fantastic to see the Billykirk brothers, Michael Williams and photographer Matthew Porter all under one roof. There was such a mutual respect and level of intrigue that (hopefully) resulted in some new collaborations and ideas.

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IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE THE TABOR AESTHETIC IN THREE WORDS, THEY’D BE:

Perry:

 Reverent, irreverent, and alive .

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TABOR’D MERCHANDISE CAN BE PURCHASED VIA MOBILE SHOPPING APP, HOUSE ACCOUNT, AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD ON THE APP STORE HERE.