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The face behind Philly-based clothing line Duke & Winston, Seun Olubodun, gives us the inside scoop on his fall line of menswear and reveals why pet owners have the deepest pockets.
After successfully selling his line of screenprinted tees and hoodies online since 2009, Duke & Winston's Seun Olubodun (pronounced Shane for those not in-the-know) recently made the jump to brick and mortar. The Duke & Winston showroom at 633 North 2nd Street officially opened two months ago, after a soft opening in late spring. Here, the newly-budded store owner reveals which items are the most sought-after from his brand, which is inspired by his BFF-slash-English Bulldog, Duke.
Why the decision to break into retail?
I moved into this apartment, and downstairs was already commercially zoned. It just seemed like a no-brainer to turn the downstairs living room into a store. Plus, young professional types are moving into the neighborhood, so there's a demand. It's like a starter store, a test to see if I can open similar stores in different cities.
Does the showroom attract mainly male shoppers?
I would say that more women come in than men, even though our line is 90 percent men's clothing. Women come in and buy for themselves or for their husbands or boyfriends.
How does Duke & Winston fit into Philly's men's fashion scene?
Philly's a tough market for men. Guys don't really care as much in Philly. It's more New York, LA, Boston to be real into clothes and grooming. I pretty much just set out to create a brand that people would like. It's preppy and hip, but I wouldn't say my customers are necessarily fashion-crazed. I think people just identify with the Duke & Winston aesthetic—the logo, the bulldog.
What's new for fall?
This fall, I kind of stepped it up a bit. I did a whole line of hoodies, some sweaters, shawl collar pullovers with bulldog embroidery, scarves, and silk logo neckties.
Tell us about your pet line.
Maybe two years ago, I made a dog bed for Duke from an old Union Jack t-shirt. It was just something for Duke to lounge on when I'd sell on location, but people were asking more about the bed than the clothing sometimes. I thought there might be potential there, since it seems like people are always willing to spend money on their pets. People with dogs, especially, are obsessed with their pets!
What's been selling out in the showroom recently?
Right now, the ties are doing really well, as is the Top Hat Hoodie—it's a bold design. Also, I came out with these Philly-themed tees that are killing it. I've probably sold hundreds in the last few months, and I'm using them as a promotion: if you buy a full-priced shirt in the store, you get one of the Philly tees for free.
· Duke & Winston [Official Site]