Shop Till You Drop With Some of Our Favorite Local Retailers and Brands | Fashion | Indy Week

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Shop Till You Drop With Some of Our Favorite Local Retailers and Brands




THE ART OF STYLE They mean what they say at The Art of Style: the look is chic, cosmopolitan, and modern, with a monochromatic palette that would please even the most fashion-forward urban dwellers. The store carries men's and women's clothes by a slate of distinctive designer brands—familiar names like Kenneth Cole along with N.C. brands like Wilmington's Forge & Foundry, hip footwear from BED|STÜ, and specialty items like heavenly socks made in Italy by Punto. Look here for that cool item your closet is lacking. 19 West Hargett Street, Raleigh, 919-755-3333,

CHET MILLER This home décor center is a fairly recent addition to downtown Durham's Parrish Street. It offers a carefully curated, eclectic selection of gifts and artifacts by top designers, from high-end furniture to lamps, wallpaper, and prints. Founded by the people behind Parker & Otis, it's also a down-to-earth purveyor of charming doodads of every sort: trinkets, barware, soap, globes, thermoses, and nature paintings. The store features more men-centric items (think beard-maintenance tools) than your average upscale gift emporium. 118 West Parrish Street, Durham, 919-683-3201,

DECO RALEIGH This home furnishings company takes the concept of home seriously: it features the work of a bevy of talented local artists and artisans, so its merchandise is not what you'll find elsewhere. In a pleasantly cluttered atmosphere of fun and discovery, it's easy to lose yourself in the aisles of quirk—kids' books and greeting cards, refrigerator magnets, mugs, and jewelry—and the store's relaxed vibe encourages laid-back browsing. 19 West Hargett Street, #108, Raleigh, 919-828-5484,

EDGE OF URGE Beginning humbly in 2002, with owner Jessie Williams selling handmade clothing accessories out a tiny space in Wilmington, Edge of Urge's Raleigh location is now a vibrant presence on Franklin Street, offering the work of innovative independent designers of uncommon items, whether it's women's clothing, jewelry, and accessories, baby clothes, or art for your home. The store also keeps a lively schedule of workshops and special events, but above all, the minds behind this emporium know that finding the perfect item brings a visceral thrill, and they strive to deliver that frisson to their customers. 215 East Franklin Street, #110, Raleigh, 919-827-4000,

EXOTIQUE Exotique has flourished for a decade on Durham's West Main Street, with a focus on jewelry, art, and clothing made by an international creative community. It's a gift store, boutique, and gallery with a distinct sensibility and a commitment to community. Come for handbags from Guatemala in dazzling hues, Ghanaian shirts for men, fabrics from many nations, soaps and lotions, and a range of jewelry and objets d'art to fit a range of budgets. 319 West Main Street, Durham, 919-688-5747,

FURBISH STUDIO The sensibility at this home décor mecca is zippy, cheeky, and not beholden to the merely functional. It's the place to seek out items that add elan to your staid interiors: rugs, prints, lamps, pillows, throws, trays, and glassware with a certain attitude, whether by virtue of distinctive hues or a throw pillow with "Everyone's a Dumb Whore" stitched in needlepoint. But whether its charming doodads and knickknacks you seek, or something more upscale, like the best-selling paper geranium plant, it's not a spot to go for bargains. 309 North Dawson Street #100, Raleigh, 984-242-4733,

HOLDER GOODS & CRAFTS Not much more than a year old, this sun-filled space in downtown Raleigh is a furniture store, an arts gallery, and an interior design firm as well as a showcase for the work of local artisans, potters, craftspeople. It's also an agora where you'll come upon an alluring stream of rarified objects and curiosities curated with a sharp and appreciative eye: vintage items, like coffee mugs and glassware, along with contemporary items ranging from animal skulls to African mud cloths. 612 West South Street, Raleigh,

PORT OF RALEIGH The carefully curated items in this year-or-so-old home furnishings store reflect an aesthetic honed by the owners over decades, surveying the world for the simplest, most practical and pleasing home essentials. Elegant lines and a clean look pervade the collection, from clocks and tables to vases and charging cables designed to simplify your digital clutter. This is a can't-miss place for a cool wedding gift, and affordable enough to buy yourself something, too. 416 South McDowell Street, Raleigh, 984-221-8008,

POSSIBILITIES This small independent women's clothing emporium reflects its owner's twenty-five years in the business with a look that's bold and feminine, but also comfortable and seemingly effortless. Tunic-style tops are matched with dresses in light, often diaphanous fabrics, all in a range of natural fibers reflecting the spirit of ease and positivity the store aims to foster. Possibilities also carries an interesting assortment of handcrafted jewelry and a range of accessories tailor-made to complement the store's vision of style. 1247 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary, 919-460-1852,

REVOLVER Recycling makes good sense, especially when it comes to purchasing upscale clothes at prices that are affordable to the average man and woman. Revolver has offered a blend of modern and vintage, designer and retro clothes for more than a decade, and it has earned a reputation as a place where you can shop in a pleasant, unhurried, well-organized environment and leave with at least one cool-as-eff item you just can't live without. 124 Glenwood Avenue South, Raleigh, 919-834-3053,

RUMORS Shopping at a quality thrift store is one of the most satisfying and cost-effective ways to make your fashion discoveries. In three years, Rumors has become a well-loved source for delivering that ineffable thrill of the find with its carefully selected range of vintage and modern styles. Denim, fur, or leather, designer label or a classic cartoon sweatshirt, New Year's Eve or Halloween—we hear Rumors has the goods. 106 North Graham Street, Chapel Hill, 919-942-2335,

SCATTERBUGS VINTAGE Itching for something kitschy to make you coo? Scatterbugs is where to head for those quirky items in gloriously faded pastel tones, a little bit odd and a little bit mod. The offerings might include anything from vintage plush toys of the Rice Krispies triplets to a polka-dot skirt, souvenir lazy Susans, a vintage brooch, or Formica countertops emblazoned with starburst patterns. Even if you were around when these things were current, they still feel part of that ineffable era known as "before your time." 14 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh,

TS DESIGNS This screen-printing company has been plying its trade since 1977, long before the T-shirt ascended to its current status as a laid-back style staple and ubiquitous promotional giveaway. The firm revamped itself according to a green business model in the early nineties, a strategy that has kept it at the forefront of its industry, offering high-quality sustainable apparel made of 100 percent North Carolina-grown cotton. 2053 Willow Springs Lane, Burlington, 336-229-6426,

VERT & VOGUE Vegan shoes and bamboo sweaters are among the items on offer at this chic clothing emporium, which prides itself on offering cutting-edge looks for men and women that fulfill the owners' commitment to the work of green-minded designers and artisans. The clothing here is made exclusively from fine-quality natural fibers, sourced from eco-friendly manufacturers and designers. This kind of attention to detail does translate into some substantial price tags, but the quality of the materials means the clothes will last and keep looking good long after cheaper, more generic basics fall apart. 905 West Main Street, #24B, Durham, 919-251-8537,


FLYTRAP CLOTHING This experienced family-run screen-printing company finds inspiration in the natural world, coming up with designs for its mostly women's apparel in its backyard workshop and selling them throughout the country in high-end stores as well as internationally. All of its garments—dresses, tunics, scarves—are designed and made by hand.

HOLLY AIKEN This maker of classy, practical bags and accessories has a distinctive style based on a color palette derived from retro items. A slew of merchandise, from handbags and messenger bags to diaper bags and wallets, are emblazoned with pleasing geometry of chevrons, diagonals, and dot grids, or simple shapes like anchors or the state of N.C., providing a distinct sensibility to these wares. 20 East Hargett Street, Raleigh, 919-833-8770,

LUMINA CLOTHING This homegrown clothier offers men's and gender-neutral clothing—chinos, work shirts, button-downs and the like—in light, durable fabrics in a classic unfussy style, all of them made in America, many from North Carolina. Also shoes, grooming stuff, bags, and accessories. Besides the sure touch of the goods selection, part of the attraction comes from the store's personable, customer-friendly atmosphere, which makes shopping for quality clothes far more enjoyable than it often is. 215-120 East Franklin Street, Raleigh, 919-977-0130,

NYLA ELISE CLOTHING CO. The distinctive T-shirts and letterman jackets designed by Nyla Elise have earned a lot of street cred from being worn by big names like Kevin Hart and Kerry Washington, but Rick Moore, the store's owner, says his locally sourced clothing is for everyone. Emblazoned with slogans like "Film Is My Ammo," these T's and tanks have an urban verve all their own.

RALEIGH DENIM Raleigh Denim succeeded wonderfully well in achieving its initial goal of creating authentic, handcrafted jeans sourced exclusively from the finest local textile makers, made cloth by area designers, pattern makers, and fabricators. Ten years later, its wares have expanded to a full range of apparel and accessories, all of equally discerning quality. This is the place for pricey, indestructible selvage jeans with local pride. 319 West Martin Street, Raleigh, 919-917-8969,

RUNAWAY With its super-popular "Durm" shirts, hoodies, hats, and stickers, Runaway embraces a style that's synonymous with its city. But its owners aim for something far beyond high regard in the clothing business: an urban lifestyle brand. The minds behind Runaway are crazy for art, DJ culture, and skateboarding, and those loves are reflected in its lumberjack hats, ball caps, T-shirts, tank tops, and accessories for women, men, and kids. 212 West Main Street #102, Durham, 919-213-1081,

Creissen Clothing Launch Party


Chapel Hill local and first-year UNC student James Creissen will debut the first line of his inspired streetwear brand, CREISSEN, at Nightlight on Tuesday, Dec. 6 (9:30 p.m., $7, The designer’s recognition of style as a means of expression moved him to create a brand focused on conveying a meaningful message, one he hopes will provoke thought about relevant social issues. Through exaggerated silhouettes, distressed clothing, and post-industrial graphics, the CREISSEN capsule collection reinterprets classic work-wear to refer to the decline of the blue-collar workforce in America. The clothing will be debuted through projected videos and images as well as a pop-up store at during the event, with deejays spinning classic house and techno.—Jamie Stuart

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