Dashing Haberdashers

Bryce BozadjianDecember 2015
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Jackson LaBaer on the cover of Arizona Living magazine in March 1974Back in 1969, Phoenix attorney Jackson LaBaer was a man about town known for his dapper personal style. Wishing to share his passion for fashion with the city at large, he decided to launch his own clothing store, cleverly switching around the letters in the word “clothier” while brainstorming names for the business. Voilà. The Clotherie was born.

The name was “something distinctive yet timeless,” Clotherie co-directors Tom Allen and Tom Simon wrote in a joint message. “Decades later, the name still fits like a perfectly tailored suit.”

The original store was in Old Town Scottsdale and moved once before settling in its current space at Biltmore Fashion Park in 1979. It wasn’t always just for men; LaBaer’s then-wife, Carol, worked the sales floor of the women’s department in 1969. After their divorce, The Clotherie phased out the women’s department and specialized solely in luxurious and comfortable menswear.

“Jackson would always carry a tape measure and a magnifying glass, so he could double-check that everything he ordered from the designers was perfect before he would put it out for the customers,” Allen and Simon tell us. LaBaer noticed this knack for detail in a sales associate he hired in the late 1970s, Greg Eveloff, who would create a binder “Bible” at the end of each season, with notes describing the most popular swatches. “He even created his own detailed color names; dark gray would be ‘wet cement.’ Plain old ‘blue’ or ‘red’ wasn’t good enough for Greg.”

an ad within Arizona Living magazine in March 1974LaBaer and Eveloff eventually became partners and co-owners. LaBaer died in 2007; following Eveloff’s death in 2014, his widow, Mikka Eveloff, sold the iconic business to Ed Scott and Jim Wilson of Retail One Group.

Allen and Simon have preserved the dashing traditional style of the store while rolling out modern changes like a wider selection of luxury sportswear, a refurbished store interior, and a new website and online store. The Clotherie has long been a destination for local legends and everyday businessmen, including Phoenix Suns head coaches – but Allen and Simon say they treat everyone who walks through their doors like a celebrity.

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