There’s a difference between being well dress and dressed up. David Watkins is a well dressed man. He’s not well-dressed in a trendy type of way or in an “I don’t usually care about my appearance but I’m wearing a suit today” type of well-dressed. He’s well dressed in a timeless kind of way. He’s knowledgable. He has a passion for garments, and talks menswear like he interned on Savile Row. I sat down with David, a frequent collaborator and friend, for a short interview about his new retail store, House of Abbeydale and the overall direction of menswear. Needless to say, I dressed for the occasion.
SP: What is Abbeydale?
DW: ABBEYDALE is a gentleman’s brand that blends modernism with a dash of nostalgia, offering unique styles and looks, hand crafted with exacting standards and service like the days of old. We ensure proper fit and the ultimate in personalization by offering a range of products that are custom made of our clientele.
SP: What are the origins, and what made you open a retail store?
DW: I had a private, by-appointment only, studio for a few years and really liked the idea of being Uptown. When I landed on the space, I wanted to incorporate a ready-to-wear line as well……it’s been great!
SP: What kind of merchandise does ABBEYDALE carry and what separates it from other menswear boutiques in Charlotte?
DW: We carry classics and understand well-fitting mens garments. Suits, sports coats, denim, and shirting. I feel we are unique in the fact that anything in our store you see, and doesn’t fit properly, we can have made up for you in 3-4 weeks. We also offer a great custom shoe program with a factory in Spain with an Ipad app that lets the customer do the designing….it’s pretty unique.
SP: What does the future hold for menswear and what role does ABBEYDALE play in that future?
DW: Menswear as a whole is embracing the need for well-fitting garments. Days of the baggy, sack-suit are gone…..I just thing the future will look much better. As far as ABBEYDALE, we’ll play our part by taking a broader approach to our ready-to-wear line as well as opening more ABBEYDALE boutiques in major cities. Our main driver is our service and attention to detail, and that’s best served in a face-to-face setting. As much as we would like to scale online, I feel our model works well for other cities……..be on the lookout!
House of Abbeydale is located at 116 West 4th St, Charlotte, NC 28203