The Art of Style has landed downtown on Hargett St, but this is not your type retail store. As you pass through the threshold of the store your ears are greeted by a mix of urban, indie pop, and underground music. You see the open layout, clean lines, and taupe-gray walls. You have left Raleigh and have been transported to SOHO NYC. This is not what you would expect downtown, but that is exactly what owner, Kendra Leonard, wanted you to experience.
You may have heard of The Art of Style before. They had previously been located in Brier Creek and more recently Cameron Village. With each move, the store evolved and with perfect timing, Kendra found downtown as the ideal new location. Before opening her first store, though, Kendra came from a rich clothing retail background. She worked at Banana Republic for over 11 years where she says “I did everything under the sun there”. She enjoyed working there and loved her employees, but one bad year changed things forever. After being passed over for a promotion and losing her husband to a short battle of Leukemia, she knew it was time to turn things around. Through that ordeal and stress, she was still able to write up a business plan and move forward. “I always tell people I lived life backward… pregnant at twenty, widowed at thirty, wondering what’s in store for forty” is how Kedra describes her journey. That is even the tagline for her book, You only live once. Yes, she even wrote a book that chronicles her life experiences to show others you too can overcome. That is what Kendra does, she helps people feel good about themselves and that is what she is doing with The Art of Style.
“We don’t sell clothing, We transform lives.”
Kendra’s talents can help you pick out the clothes that will make you not only look really good but will make you feel really good. She focuses on using fashion to work up your confidence. As she says, “We don’t sell clothing, We transform lives.”. And who’s lives are they transforming? Everyones! They have a great section for men and women no matter your age or income. Better yet, they hand pick labels from around the world looking for only the best. Most of the labels you will not be able to find anywhere else in Raleigh and sometimes even in the whole state. That means you will be one of a few people walking around Raleigh with this garment and maybe the only one. So if you hate going to the mall, finding parking, digging through the racks pushing people to find something, then this is your cure. Yes, The Art of Style has finally found a home in downtown. We now can shop local, feel good about ourselves, and look good doing it.
The Art of Style is located at 19 W Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601