Kansas City’s Baldwin designer line opening stores in three top markets

Emily and Matt Baldwin in the Baldwin Denim store on the Country Club Plaza.
Emily and Matt Baldwin in the Baldwin Denim store on the Country Club Plaza. Special to The Star

As more and more national retailers shutter brick-and-mortar locations, Kansas City-based Baldwin is expanding with three new stores in major markets.

Matt and Emily Baldwin plan to open shops in New York City in August, Dallas in September and Los Angeles in October, signing one-year leases with options. They said national retail closings have opened up prime spots at moderate rates.

Their first store, Standard Style, opened in Leawood in 2003, selling designer brands from around the country and internationally. The couple currently have locations on the Country Club Plaza and in Leawood’s Town Center Crossing.

Matt Baldwin launched the Baldwin label in 2009, during the recession when the best-selling jeans were $189. His were $220 and soon were outselling other top brands. He then expanded the Baldwin line to include hats, T-shirts, sweater knits, leather jackets, technical outerwear and accessories. He opened a Baldwin store in Leawood in 2010 and Country Club Plaza store in 2013.

Baldwin has since drawn kudos from Esquire and Vogue magazines and earned a spot in “The Fashion Fund” reality TV series in 2015. GQ magazine also named him one of the four best new menswear designers in the country in 2013. His wholesale line is now sold in about 100 specialty stores and upscale department stores such as Barneys New York, Nordstrom, Saks and Bergdorf Goodman.

He operated a pop-up in New York from January through March, a location that was so successful he’s returning to the same spot.

Kansas City-based architect Matthew Hufft, a longtime friend of the Baldwins, did the interior design and fixture manufacturing for the pop-up and will do the same for the new stores.

“We started building a community in a 1,000-square-foot store in Leawood,” said Matt Baldwin. “It’s been a 14-year journey of season after season and bringing our customers along, bringing quality product, and staying in our lane. So these markets are ready and excited for it. People want quality right now and the power of new.”

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC