Photo by Jay Paul
Black-and-white photographs of Peyton Jenkins' grandparents posing in front of Richmond landmarks will adorn one wall of his fifth luxury menswear shop. "It'll be a nice homage to the city," the Alton Lane co-founder says of the photos that will include First Baptist Church on Monument Avenue and The Jefferson Hotel. Jenkins, 32, grew up in Henrico County and graduated from the Collegiate School before attending the University of Virginia to study economics. It was there that he met his best friend and business partner, fellow Virginia native Colin Hunter. "Colin and I have two totally different body types, but the exact same issues off the rack — nothing fits," Jenkins says of the impetus for opening the first Alton Lane, in New York's Flatiron district in November 2009. Since then, three more have opened in Washington, Boston and Dallas.
The haberdashery is bringing the exclusivity of bespoke tailoring to a broader market by cutting nonessential costs. Open by appointment only, Alton Lane utilizes a 360-degree white-light body scanner to capture about 70 percent of the customer's measurements and produces the custom-made garments in Thailand and China. "We removed a lot of the costly overhead from our business model, which ultimately flows through to the cost of our garments," Jenkins says of the suits that range from $595 to $15,000 and shirts priced between $89 and $500.
Alton Lane continues to provide the elements customers expect from a luxury brand, such as fabrics sourced directly from mills in Italy, Scotland and France. The 2,200-square-foot Richmond showroom at 5805 Grove Ave. feels like a ski lodge, with a leather sofa, animal-skin rugs and a custom-built bar where customers can sip Hardywood beer or local bourbon while browsing fabric swatches.
After opening their newest location this month, Jenkins and Hunter plan to add five more stores in 2014, but the Richmond shop will hold a special place in their hearts. "Libbie and Grove has always been one of my favorite areas in Richmond," Jenkins says. "That area feels like a coming-home party."