Cloth & Metal Menswear Store Brings American Heritage to the OC
Although Cloth & Metal menswear store made its debut in Orange County in April, it has already expanded and quickly become a hit for guys ranging from Orange County’s hipsters to businessmen. And the new retail destination has scored a major coup as one of just a few shops in the country to carry Shinola, the recently re-launched American heritage brand from Detroit with a cult following. This weekend, Scott Sablan, the store’s founder and CEO, is hosting the Shinola bike tour at his store, located in the OC Mix, a popular mixed-used marketplace. (See event details below story).
“At the end of the day we are a commercial enterprise, but when people come into our store we want to make it feel like their closet at home — on a clean day — versus a heavily engineered space,” said Sablan.
Originally, Sablan planned on launching an online-only shopping destination, but his vision for the retail concept grew. Sablan was eager to provide guys with a relevant place they could come to find clothes that are timeless and well-made — an ethos that he shares with the Shinola brand — and do it in a low-key way that might include, say, a drink in hand. (Pick your poison: beer or scotch is available).
The store, which brings together apparel, accessories and grooming as well as lifestyle items such as audio, has become one of the OC Mix’s most prominent boutiques, garnering acclaim from both audiophiles and menswear fans alike. Sablan, who has a background in audio electronics, selected the store’s audio assortment based on performance, design and ease of use for consumers. That means that the audio equipment — which includes selections from Peachtree, Logitech UE and Cambridge — look good and sounds good. Not only that, they’re made to work with computers, mobile phones and cloud-based streaming. Shoppers are invited to come by and test all of the equipment out and Sablan’s more than happy to hook up listeners to the store’s computer and extensive library of digital tunes.
Our top staples for fall are a constructed blazer/sport coat, a shawl collar sweater and a classic leather chukka boot.
With the expansion of the store, Sablan plans on introducing even more categories and exclusives to the shop, including being one of just 20 shops in the country to carry Shinola’s made-in-Detroit bikes, journals and timepieces as well as a wider assortment of laid-back menswear.
The rich assortment of merchandise inside the store includes grooming products from big names such as Jack Black and Imperial Barber Products as well as more niche offerings such as Lamar Soap’s Mustache Wrestler (a water-based wax to tame that unruly facial hair or to shape it into the perfect handlebar) and Tattoo Seal.
Denim is a prominent category at the store as well. More fashion-forward guys can grab novelty denim from Joe’s Jeans whereas more traditional gents can opt for straight-leg dark blue jeans from 7 for all Mankind. Fit and comfort reign supreme for guys looking to update their jeans, according to a study conducted by Cotton, Inc.’s Lifestyle Monitor (trumping both brand and styling), so Sablan’s denim selection is as varied as his customer, ranging from soft, worn-in blues to more rigid and dark selections for guys to break in themselves.
Sablan stocks Cloth & Metal with an assortment of wares that run the gamut from everyday — tees and boardshorts from Newport Beach-based surf brand Almond — to special occasion, such as lapel flowers from Hook & Albert. For those times between, guys can browse Zachary Prell shirting (rumor has it that the shirts are made in the same factories as Zegna’s), casual wear from life/after/denim and more aggressively styled options from 7 Diamonds. Footwear on offer includes SeaVees and Cole Haan.
“The opportunity to set up shop in The OC Mix presented itself and we felt compelled to jump on it,” said Sablan. “It was not only the perfect match in terms of the retail environment, but we recognized that what they created was something truly special and unique and we wanted to be a part of that. We haven’t looked back since.”
Cloth & Metal is located at 3313 Hyland Avenue, at the OC Mix, in Costa Mesa. For more information, visit www.clothandmetal.com.
The Shinola Bike Tour comes to Cloth & Metal on Sunday, September 8th from 3-6 pm. In addition to taking a Shinola bike out for a test drive, the Cloth & Metal has teamed with Shuck Oyster Bar and ARC Restaruant from the OC Mix and SoCo to provide food and libations. Shinola’s entire line of goods, including the brand’s Made in the USA watches, journals and leather goods (along with their custom 1961 Willy’s Jeep), will also be on display. For more information, visit www.shinoa.com/biketour.