Seeking out unique styles and quirky shopping destinations has become a bit of a mission for me, but sometimes I …
New Man in TownBy Nicole Trask | Oct 12, 2012
Our city has a lot of good things going for it but up until now, menswear hasn’t really been one of them. According to some of my more style savvy male friends, the options have been scant – leaving them to rely on faithful standbys (think Biscuit, Duggers and sometimes Roots). So, I was intrigued to learn of the recent opening of RCHMND, an exclusive menswear boutique on Hollis Street in Historic Properties.
I popped in for an impromptu visit and one of the three owners, Kristi Smith, was there to welcome me. Right away, I was impressed by the minimalist décor of dark wood floors, exposed brick, high ceilings and antique furnishings. The spacious boutique has a selection of menswear and accessories with a casual yet high quality appeal. I was immediately drawn to a lovely tweed jacket from A.P.C. in a simple varsity style that I think would look timeless on any man for fall. On an edgier note, I absolutely love the soft button-up blue shirt with white stars from Our Legacy. It would take a special man with confidence to pull this look off. Other favourites for me included the leather ensconced flasks, colourful and cozy beanies from Norse Projects and Field Notes pads (perfect for scribbling note-takers like me). I’m also planning to come back and re-examine the sturdy utilitarian Filson bags, a tried and true brand that’s been around since 1897. According to Smith, most of the labels available are North American, Scandinavian and European and choosing merchandise is truly a labour of love for the owners.
“Our selection comes down to seeking out quality brands that we really believe in,” she says.
RCHMND is also owned by Craig Morris (originally from Saint John) and Peter MacDonald (from PEI). Both entrepreneurs have lived in Halifax for years and saw a void in stylish options available for men and aspired to one day open their own shop. Smith is from Toronto but has since moved to Halifax to join the team.
“It was a dream that the boys had for years,” she says. “I came on board and shared their passion and the response from Halifax has been great. We see new faces everyday but we’re also starting to see repeat customers.”
The name of the boutique was inspired by Richmond – the area past North Street pre Halifax Explosion. It’s apparent to me that a simple yet polished general store aesthetic has spilled over into the boutique’s décor. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the antique Singer sewing machine that Morris has fashioned into a beautiful table using a reclaimed barn door. It’s refreshing to finally see a unique alternative open up for men’s shopping downtown and I’d recommend it to any man in Halifax interested in stepping their style game up a notch.
RCHMND will be hosting a photo exhibit “Dissent in the Ranks” opening on October 13th by Mark Mullane, Chris Kline and Steve Keene.