Faces & Places is a weekly series that profiles the people and places of Murray and the surrounding areas. Every person and every place has a story. Let us tell it.
Seeing men around Murray State dressed to the nines wearing brands like Vineyard Vines, Southern Tide and Southern Marsh is a common sight.
With only one clothing store in Murray catering exclusively to men, Dan Foster, owner of Dan’s, has a large market at his fingertips.
Dan’s has been a part of the community for 25 years and continues to gain new customers, while still pleasing returning patrons.
“I was in retail before we opened this store and I decided I wanted to go out on my own and open my own high-end men’s store with the top brands in men’s fashion,” Foster said. “There’s nowhere else you can go besides out of town to find the brands I carry.”
College fashion changes from year to year and keeping up with the newest trends can be difficult, but not for Foster. He attends at least four different markets a year that provide him with knowledge of styles and what is trendy.
“Used to, the college kids wanted brands like Abercrombie and things like that, but now they have gotten away from all that and they want things like Ralph Lauren Polo and it’s been incredible,” he said.
In fact, Foster even claimed 2013 as the store’s highest grossing year-to-date.
Foster describes the men of Murray as being very fashion-forward. Not only are college students visiting the store, but also doctors and lawyers from the area come in to find clothing for business trips or weekend vacations.
“I think people in Murray are just like their homes,” Foster said. “They’re concerned about the way their homes and their landscaping look, and they are very much concerned about the way they dress and look. Whether they’re going to church or going out, they prefer to look their best.”
People also travel from surrounding cities such as Nashville, Tenn., and Evansville, Ind., to spend time shopping at Dan’s.
Foster prides himself in knowing that the customers who come to shop in his store are people who pride themselves in the way they look and the way they dress. He enjoys letting his customers know they are getting the very best out of his products.
“We’ve had so many guys come in already this year and stock up pajama pants, boxers or sweatshirts for their girlfriends for Valentine’s Day,” Foster said.
Dan’s also likes to give students an opportunity to see its new merchandise before anyone else by inviting the entire student body to parties where they offer discounts and prizes.
“We did it back in the fall and we had 400 kids in the store from 4-8 p.m.,” he said. “We did it right before Christmas again and we also plan to do it again this spring. It helps them and it also gives them a chance to see all the new stuff and we can give them a good discount.”
Last semester, the store’s hottest sellers among college students were the Vineyard Vines shep shirts. Foster said his staff had a rough time keeping them on the shelves in all sizes. Not only were men scooping them up, but women also took a liking to the fleece or cotton quarter-zip pullovers.
For spring, he foresees the hottest trend coming from Vineyard Vines in its spring T-shirt collection. He also expects South Point, Southern Tide and Southern Marsh T-shirts to be a big hit again in the coming months.
Story by Breanna Sill, Staff writer