Out and about in Cleveland today, I spent the afternoon doing some last minute Christmas shopping (the last minute makes you the most productive — don’t forget it). Eventually I ventured over to Cuffs Clothing — one of my favorite shops. I was thinking just last week that stores like Cuffs in Chagrin Falls and O’Connell’s in Buffalo are two truly unique menswear shops that set the standard for specialty retail in America. When I go to Cuffs I can’t help but to think how the selection is both classic and modern at the same time, with an emphasis on quality. Cuff’s sells brands like Crockett & Jones, Brioni, Kiton, Charvet, Barbour, Southwick and Oxxford — among others. Also, Cuffs has what I think is the only remaining Hermès shop-in-shop in the United States. And all of this in a world where many specialty retailers are either painfully boring or going out of business.
To be great, specialty shops need to have a great perspective and to provide better service than the big stores do. Both of these qualities are certainly present at Cuffs and O’Connell’s, not to mention dozens of other great stores in the U.S. To me, buying from places like Cuffs and supporting independent shops is something that just feels right. I was lucky enough to travel all over the world this year and Cuff’s is as interesting as anything I saw anywhere. For that to happen in the Cleveland suburbs (of all places) just means that it can happen in any city — which is something that gives me hope for the future of specialty retail. If you ever find yourself in Northeast Ohio, stop in to see Cuff’s, you won’t be disappointed.
More on Cuff’s here.