Retailer of the Week
03 Jan. 2013
Fidel Montaya, Managing Partner, Silverfly, North CarolinaSilverfly is a brand new 1,400-sq.-foot (130-sq.-meter) men’s multibrand boutique that had its grand opening on November 3, 2012. Created by managing partner Fidel Montoya and co-owner Keith Alyea, the shop carries brands such as DL1961, Joe’s Jeans, Hudson Jeans, Silver Jeans, Chadburry, Alternative Apparel, Ben Sherman, Penguin, Vince, Andrew Christian, Richer Poorer, R. Cooper, Civic Duty, Shwood and Hex, among others. Here, Montoya discusses how he buys, how he reaches customers and how being the new kid on the block has been for Silverfly thus far. Interview by Christopher Blomquist
Silverfly's managing partner Fidel Montoya and co-owner Keith Alyea (right)
What is your background and what prompted you to open Silverfly?
I have a BA from New Mexico State University and have worked in business development and sales for over 15 years and for different technology and medical technology companies. I like building things and saw a good opportunity.
What is the overall purpose of the store?
Simply put, a store for the guys. There are lots of great boutiques for women but not many choices for men. I wanted to bring some great lines all under one roof, in a modern and comfortable environment. The purpose is to bring clothing to the intentional dresser but also to help the guys that may not know a lot about fashion. We help style them. Fly defines the style!
What have been your bestselling brands and specific items thus far?
We carry denim and everything to dress up the denim and dress it down. Ben Sherman and Penguin have some great shirts, jackets and outerwear that has done exceptional. Those are my two major recognizable brands. Then I brought in other lines that people are not as familiar with–like Chadburry, Vince and others–to expand guys’ options in fashion.
Where do you find new merchandise and brands?
I’ve been to the markets in Atlanta, New York and Las Vegas and established relationships with several vendors. The other way I choose items to bring in is based on what my customers ask for. In the first week of business, I had five guys ask me if I was going to carry Raleigh Denim. I had established the account but had not placed an order. I placed an order with Raleigh Denim Workshop soon after.
What is the retail scene like in Charlotte and who are your typical customers?
We have a lot of bankers in Charlotte. Typically the dress is pretty conservative with suits and ties. Even the casual dress is brown khakis and blue shirts. I offer khakis and shirts, but khakis and shirts with style. I would hope the guys want to get noticed and stand out from the rest. Fashion is a great way to help get noticed when those promotions come along. There are several stores that offer suits, Silverfly offers everything else!
What denim trends or looks are selling the best?
Denim is interesting and very personal. Some like denim they need to break in, like Raleigh. Others like a softer denim like Joe’s and Hudson. Some like a tapered fit, others like relaxed. It really depends when they are wearing them. If used for work, they go with a more relaxed darker fit and color. As far as the wash, the lighter blue denim has done the best. Silverfly also offers other washes like Bourbon from DL1961 and Cigar from Hudson. My favorite is maroon from Joe’s. The vintage jeans are coming back in style.
What is the breakdown of the merchandise in percentages?
Silverfly has about 25% denim, 40% shirts, jackets and outerwear, 5% shoes and about 30% accessories. The accessories include wood glasses made in Portland, iPhone cases, bags by Ben Sherman and Hex and men’s grooming products by R. Cooper.
Where does the name come from?
Silver from the zipper of denim, FLY from the zipper or button fly of denim, but also FLY as in (Adj): cool in style.
What is the most expensive item in the store? And the least expensive?
Used to be a Plectrum Melton Crombie Jacket for $495, now it’s the awesome 2(x)ist watches I brought in. The least expensive item is the underwear by Andrew Christian for $13. I also have very soft cotton T-shirts from Alternative for $40.
It has been steady. No major rushes but nice and steady. The word is getting out that Silverfly has opened.
How do you stay in touch with customers?
We are doing a lot of event marketing. We have an event with Osso restaurant planned in January. Our customers can sign up for our b-FLY customer loyalty program and received 5% off everything in the store anytime and also get invited to special events.
You have only been open a few weeks. What have you already learned in that time or what has already surprised you?
I had a guy from Miami come in and told me how much he liked the store. I was surprised that coming from Miami I would think there would be lots of stores for men. He explained that there are lots of designers that have stores, but none that offer many, many different lines under one roof. The other thing that surprises me is that people ask: Where else are there Silverfly stores?
1111 Metropolitan Avenue, Suite 150
Charlotte, NC 28204
+1 980 819 7216
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