2 min read ·
As we continue to uncover the local gems in retail at North Hills, our focus turns to what many call the best in men’s shopping in the area.
While the word “unique” is often overused, the shopping experience for men offered by Liles Clothing Studio comes about as close as you can get to meeting the true definition of the word. We had the opportunity to ask owner Bruce Liles about being called “North Hills best-dressed man” and why that sense of style is so integral to who he is and to his store’s success.
For those who may not be familiar with Liles, how would you describe your shop – both in its atmosphere and in the clothing that you offer, and why did you pick the word “Studio” to be part of your name?
Bruce Liles: I would describe my shop as a candy store for gentlemen. We chose the name because a good friend, visiting from out of town, saw what we were doing and said, ”This isn’t a store, it’s a studio.” The name stuck.
What is your primary goal or mission for your shop?
BL: Liles’ primary goal is to help our customers elevate their personal style.
How did your background impact your decision to open Liles?
BL: My father ran a Belk store and I was raised around the business. My maternal grandfather had an exceedingly well-defined sense of style.
What types of products do you sell that you believe set you apart from other men’s clothing stores in Raleigh?
BL: We carry an upscale mix of American and European makers that are rarely found in the South, but our forte is our experience with custom products.
Please describe the types of customers who shop at Liles.
BL: Our customers range from professional athletes to executives, all with a common thread of caring about their appearance.
Why do you believe that establishing relationships with your customers is important?
BL: The relationships with our customers are important because repeat business and word of mouth is what keeps the business growing.
Why is your North Hills location a good fit for the types of customers you do attract and want to attract?
BL: North Hills has been a great partner in that our clients discover other things to do here, and we also have a high visibility to the public. When we chose to locate here, we knew this was the emergence of a new type of shopping, and we appreciate that we are truly part of something special here.
You have been called North Hills’ best-dressed man. Why is your sense of style so important to you and how is that reflected in your shop?
BL: My sense of style defines what I do and why I do it.
How do you pick brands and items to sell?
BL: Constant attention to the markets, and national and international travel keep me focused on the trends.
Liles is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month. What is the shop doing to mark the occasion?
BL: We are having a series of trunk shows with our exclusive lines to celebrate.
What have been some of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of owning Liles over the past 10 years?
BL: The most rewarding part of owning Liles over the past 10 years has been getting to open the door to my own business everyday. No doubt the economy of 2009 was very trying, and the daily challenges of running a business are constantly in mind, but the business has never been stronger.