Sunday afternoon at 1158 Howell Mill Road in Atlanta, Georgia, and if the ladies that just opened the Ann Mashburn boutique are exhausted—if the pressure of complementing one of the best, if not the best, mens’ shops in the country that consistently garners praise from the likes of GQ, countless style blogs, and its burgeoning clientele is getting to them, if they feel like they’re going 100 miles an hour from trade shows to shuffling two doors down to their tailors holed up in Sid’s shop—you wouldn’t know it.
Elizabeth, the eldest of five Mashburn daughters, greets me at the door with a collegiate smile. Even though she is under the spell of a trans-Atlantic jet lag, her southern hospitality masks it. While most college seniors her age spent the summer grasping at the waning days of adolescence, Elizabeth was volunteering in Africa, working alongside her mom to open up the eponymous shop in Atlanta, and acquiring a hands-on education in fashion merchandising and retailing.
Ann Mashburn is usually closed on Sundays and Mondays, so we have it all to ourselves. The experience feels similar to Sid’s place but softer. Instead of dark stained woods and taxidermy, white surfaces, gold framed mirrors, and north light pouring in from the storefront windows persist.
Ann, with her right hand woman Jen, has just returned from a trade show spawning the thought to carry Le Chameau rubber boots in lieu of Hunters.
“Everyone seems to be doing Hunters now.”
This is the magic behind what the Mashburns do. They curate. And they do an impeccable job of it. Meticulous even. It’s why every woman from the suede-fringed-boot-wearing Taylor-Swift-listening teen to the 80 year-old who appreciates the style and cut of the shirts stops in.
“Our customers are women who want to look great, have some attention paid to them while they shop, and get some good advice if they need it.”
Jen, Ann, and Elizabeth
Photographed in Atlanta, GA
With stints as an assistant to Polly Mellen at Vogue in the 80s, an editor at Glamour, and a stylist at J.Crew, Mashburn came into this experience as an editor, not as a retailer. Sid and Ann launched Sid Mashburn together three years ago. “We set out to build a brand based on nothing more than what we loved and what we wanted to stand behind.” Her shop, which opened this summer, evolved with some heavy coaxing from their daughters. “They were quite tired of Sid getting all of the attention and, really, just wanting some girl things to wear for themselves. We already had a family business and lots of female opinions that needed an outlet.”
Aside from her own private label, Mashburn stocks Barbara Shaum sandals and belts, Delman shoes and boots, J Brand jeans and pants, Saint James tees and sweaters, Levi’s, Pretty Ballerinas flats and heels, Fred Perry and Lacoste polos, Superga sneakers, and James Perse tees, tanks, turtlenecks. Come spring, A.P.C., Barbour, Mackintosh trenches, Tucker blouses and dresses, and Jil Sander will line the shelves.
“For us, it’s about the edit...not the item.”