First Look: John Henry

In recent years, men’s retail in the Twin Cities has exploded with stylish options. But while women have enjoyed a wealth of affordable offerings in a boutique setting, guys on a budget have been relegated to discount stores—until the recent opening of John Henry. The new menswear concept comes from Michele Henry and Wesley Uthus, owners of women’s cheap-chic chain Primp, along with Henry’s brother, Mike, and business partner John Vadnais.

Both Mike Henry and Vadnais were Division 1 athletes in college—Henry was a Gophers football player, and Vadnais played hockey for Bemidji State University. Their athletic backgrounds inspired the inclusion of the brand Mizzen+Main, a favorite among professional athletes thanks to its four-way stretch and moisture-wicking performance fabric. The shirts, which sell for $125, are also machine-washable and wrinkle-free. “I think men really want things that will last, and are willing to spend a little more money,” says Henry, “especially if it means saving money on dry cleaning.” Easier-on-the-wallet goods include $40 shirts by Nick Graham, $56 selvedge jeans by Kennedy, $30 ball caps by Beauty Status Hockey Co., and $20 small-batch candles by Craft + Foster in manly scents including tobacco-and-bourbon and leather-and-teak.

Located next door to Primp’s White Bear Lake location, John Henry carries quality goods at a variety of price points, from $14 neckties to $265 chukka boots by Trask, unlike Primp, which only sells goods priced under $100. “I think men really want things that will last, and are willing to spend a little more money,” says Henry, “especially if it means saving money on dry cleaning.”

John Henry’s owners plan to eventually expand west into additional storefronts beyond White Bear Lake—making affordable fashion a reality for stylish Twin Cities men on a budget.

Now open, 4764 Banning Ave. While Bear Lake, 651-797-4839, www.johnhenryco.com

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