Anthony Graziani of Article Menswear
Anthony Graziani started Article Menswear to help local men who, he believes, lack quality clothing retailers in the city. By ignoring the corporate status quo that caters primarily to women, Graziani wants Article to not only be a source of fine threads, but a cultural destination for Cincinnati's fashionable males.
What were you doing before Article?
I am a medical device sales representative. I represent a bio-engineered skin-grafting material used to jumpstart the healing process in complicated wounds. I'll still be keeping my job even after Article opens.
I studied broadcasting and business at the University of Kentucky, worked on several ESPN production teams in college, and eventually left media to pursue a sales career. I have been working on the Article business plan for the last three years.
How did you start your business?
I've worked with several individuals throughout the planning phase that know the local and national fashion markets. They've been instrumental in understanding retail operations, planning, sourcing inventory, key people and more. I couldn't have made it happen without the help of the consultants I've worked with. Some I've hired and others are mentors that want to see this succeed in Cincinnati.
I've been fine-tuning the concept over the last three years and writing a business plan. Last June, I met Chris Sutton, owner and design director for Noble Denim
. Our visions were closely matched and we thought we could only be stronger together.
As we've traveled, we've taken note of things we've liked from other similar shops in the region and nationally. We've noticed a lot of things that are lacking too. Article is going to be one of the most unique shops in the country. We're confident that it will be a destination store for guys that are tired of shopping at cookie-cutter retail chains.
How does Article stand apart from other local clothiers?
Article will serve as Noble Denim's flagship storefront, where customers can get Noble jeans custom-fitted and altered, as well as find small-batch design runs for sale. This concept and connection to the designer is only available in a handful of stores in the world.
The wide majority of our inventory is made in the United States, and none of the brands we've partnered with are currently available in the Cincinnati market. Our style is classic, rugged, refined and empowering.
Article is more than a clothing store. We plan to have events that will work to inspire the city and enrich local culture.
The greatest defining characteristic of our store is that guys will actually want to spend time here. Men shouldn't be forced to shop in a store that primarily caters to women. The inclusive, unpretentious experience at Article will foster a sense of community around the shop, and our fellow man will be able to go forth with confidence.
What can we expect when we start shopping?
We'll be opening this September, launching with fall collections from brands that until now have only been available in larger cities like New York or Chicago. We'll have a comprehensive website as well, where people can shop anywhere in the world.
Interview by Sean Peters