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F, J, M, Z at Delancey St.-Essex St.
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Dubbed a “speakeasy store” by designer-owners Chuck Guarino and Ryan Turner, this menswear boutique has gotten its share of confused passersby seeking a drink, due to its lounge-y setup complete with dim lighting and saint novena candles. Rather than cocktails, Guarino and Turner stock their own line of finely tailored wool suiting, supple leather pants and jackets, and stiff, slim-fitting denim. The self-taught designers started printing T-shirts with gothic illustrations in 2004, eventually expanding to quirky formalwear and leather that sold at Odin and BBlessing nearby. The pair converted their subterranean workshop into a retail space in 2007, covering the walls with scarlet wallpaper and sparsely filling a handful of metal racks with pin-tuck pima cotton shirts, notch-lapel seersucker suits, and sleeveless leather motorcycle jackets. The label distinguishes itself from other menswear lines in its details, like horn buttons, contrasting shirt-cuff fabric, denim trimmed in aged brass, and hidden zippers running up the calves of skintight leather pants. The attention to glam minutiae carries over into the store’s moody décor, where a skull, stacks of antique books, dried roses, and a stuffed, coiled snake are displayed alongside gold leather pants and vintage lace-up boots.