Matt Baldwin — one of GQ magazine’s four best new menswear designers in the country — will open a new store on the County Club Plaza.
Baldwin KC will sell both men’s and women’s denim and collections including shirts, knitwear, fleece, hats, shoes and accessories. It also will sell the line’s KC branded hats, T-shirts and accessories.
The store will be on one of the Plaza’s hottest corners, 47th and Broadway, next to the new Coach store. If all goes as planned, the 1,050-square-foot store is scheduled to open at 340 W. 47th St. on Sept. 1, just in time for the Plaza Art Fair.
Baldwin, founder and designer for Baldwin, sells his products wholesale to about 70 specialty stores and upscale department stores like Barneys New York, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom. But the next phase in the company’s growth will be its own brick-and-mortar stores and the new Plaza store will serve as a “test market” for him in his own backyard.
GQ said Baldwin makes one of the “best pairs of jeans in the world.” The brand is made in the U.S. using top-notch fabrics and materials.
“I’m searching the globe for the best textiles, and for the best manufacturers in the U.S. But still to keep the prices in that ‘sweet spot,’ ” Baldwin said. “Functionality and value are tops on my list going into the ... process.”
His Henley jeans retail for about $220. But Japanese brands, which are some of Baldwin’s top competition, sell for about double the price, he said.
The KC-centric collection will include more wool KC hats ($42) like those worn by such celebrities as Overland Park’s Jason Sudeikis of “Saturday Night Live,” as well as T-shirts, and leather goods such as wallets, belts and backpacks.
As one of GQ’s four best new menswear designers in the country, Baldwin also is designing an exclusive 12-piece collection to be sold at the Gap starting in October.
In 2012, GQ also named Baldwin Men’s Shop one of the 30 best men’s specialty stores in the country, saying it was “the best place to buy denim in America, period.” The shop, owned by Matt and his wife, Emily Baldwin, opened in Leawood’s Town Center Crossing (formerly One Nineteen) two years ago. They also own and operate one of their Standard Style boutiques there as well as on the Plaza.
Glenn Stephenson, vice president for Highwoods Properties, said, “We are pleased to partner with this homegrown and ever-growing brand and open Baldwin KC on the Plaza.”Quick bites
• Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches is now open on the first floor of the 2345 Grand Complex, at Pershing Road and Grand.
• Starbucks has temporarily closed in Ward Parkway Center, 8600 Ward Parkway, for a major remodel. It plans to reopen by this weekend.