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Men's Fall Fashion Issue

Manly Browsers, We Know You're Out There

Metropolis

September 12, 2004|VICTORIA NAMKUNG

The 56-year-old Brentwood Country Mart, with its red barn facade, hardly looks like the home for a men's boutique. But with Apartment Number 9, sisters Amy and Sarah Blessing have introduced some serious style to the corner of 26th and San Vicente. "Whether it's having beers in the fridge or lots of leather and woods in the store, it's all about catering to men," says Amy, 29, who runs the L.A. shop while her sister "mans" their 3-year-old Chicago store. "Menswear is something more classic, and we really want guys to be not so trendy."

Egyptian cotton dress shirts from Seize sur Vingt, Jack Spade's sturdy messenger bags and Mason's basic pants are top sellers at the streamlined 700-square-foot store. Cheery silk ties are housed in a post office cabinet from 1888, and vintage hooks and stainless steel racks display an inventory that includes comfy T-shirts and corduroy button-downs from Andrew Dibben and Moschino. In addition to such favorite L.A. wardrobe staples as Etro and Michael Kors, the Blessing gals brought in cuff links made from old typewriter keys, Old Stud worn belts and cashmere hats that their mom knits in Oregon. For fall, expect lots of color, zip-up textured sweaters and blazers as outerwear. Is there a women's store on the drawing board?

"It would dilute our total excitement and passion for seeing a new tie," Amy says.

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