Unless square is cool and highly-styled these days, which it very well might be for all we know. Following the D Magazine Best Lawyer’s party last night at Truluck’s (consensus: lawyers can drink) Steph and I grabbed umbrellas and made our way to Mockingbird Station. Recent SMU grads and club kids spilled out of Centre, a 875-square-foot store featuring men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, sunglasses, and more, just down from Coldstone Creamery and Counter Culture, and we elbowed our way in as well. I was excited to see Centre, having discussed it at length with its owner, 24-year-old SMU grad Philip Sterling, at my Other Job. He was being grabbed from all directions last night, but we chatted long enough for him to tell me about the afternoon’s scare. “The power went out earlier today, so that was pretty stressful,” he admitted. But what’s a store opening without a little power outage these days?
Sterling always had big visions for Centre. None of the “I wanted to open a store, because I like clothes, and this seemed like a great opportunity,” baloney. No. From the press release: “We are a concept born not of necessity, but of an enthusiasm for finding those rare pieces that convey a sense of exploration and lifestyle in a sophisticated, yet subtle manner.” (Cue the eyebrow raise, but Sterling is very charming and convincing.) It makes sense that he brought on Matthew Giese (flanked by two very buxom blondes last night) and Kuzuu Design, the team behind Suite nightclub, to design the small space. Unfortunately it was hard to see all of the design elements last night, (smoked glass, hand-scraped wooden planks, neon lights) with all those people. The best way I can describe the store is it’s kind of set up like a small gallery. It is not filled wall to wall with racks and clothes; instead, Sterling has carefully chosen a few design-driven items that fit an overall aesthetic. Graphic tees, Converse All Stars from John Varvatos, music mixes from New York and Tokyo DJ’s, and vaguely violent but really cool shield and dagger necklaces from Alex & Chloe. You get the idea. It definitely feels more New York than Dallas to me, which is a good thing. Sterling’s got great taste, and with his help, you can, too. Other revelers included Jacob Cross, J.B. Hayes, Liz Curtis, Jennifer Miller, Elaine Raffel, F!DLuxe‘s David Ninh, PaperCity‘s Regan Cumming, and W.A. Landreth.