ST. PETERSBURG - Kevin McBride opened McB's Men's Clothing Broker 15 months ago (as “Trendsetters”) to bring the brand name clothing from the malls to downtown St. Petersburg. The cozy little store on the corner of 1st Ave. and 7th St. is loaded with high-end brand name clothing, all on consignment at remarkably reduced prices.
Prada shirts selling for as much as $400 in retail stores can be found for as little as $80, while True Religion jeans normally at $220 can be had for $75.
Prices vary depending on quality and uniqueness, but most brands can be found for less than 30 percent of retail cost. Ties that regularly see for $100 routinely go for $20, and customers can walk out with a $500 Ralph Lauren suit for $100.
McB's takes clothing items from its clients and splits the earnings 50/50. McBride is meticulous in his tastes, and all items must be in near perfect condition with no marks or missing parts. He seeks out hotter, newer brands and keeps the items on the rack for as long as three months before returning them to the owners or donating them on their behalf.
The selection changes every Wednesday, and he draws repeat customers looking for hidden gems with each change, which amounts to approximately 50 to 100 new items a week. He also sells coats, gloves, hats, shoes, t-shirts and tuxedos, all in an eclectic setting underscored with music and splashed with photos, lots of color, and old records lining the ceiling.
Originally from California, McBride effortlessly plays the role of an authority on current trends as he explains the difficulty in finding high quality brand name clothing for men at affordable prices.
Q. Why is your business a good fit for St. Petersburg?
A. St. Pete's growing, there's a lot of restaurants and nightclubs and businesses moving here and really not a lot of men's stores in the area. You've got to go to Tyrone Square Mall or the International Plaza. I have a little bit of every shop here in my store. I have Banana Republic, a lot of the hip surfing shops, Tommy Bahama, Nat Nast, Levis.
Q. What are some of the hidden gems to be found?
A. Here's an Italian Ermenegildo Zegna suit, which is $900 in the stores; $250 here. A Robert Graham shirt, $220 in the stores, and we sell these for $75 to $100. These are the very expensive shirts at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Ave. I've got shoes by Cole Haan, Ferragamo, and this pair of Johnston & Murphy is $175 in stores, $45 here. I've got a little bit of everything here under one small roof. Guys can come in, parking's easy and free and they can get out quick.
Q. How do you know what will sell?
A. The trends start at the malls and we want to immediately follow them. We're here in Florida, near the beach and Tommy Bahamas are our best sellers. These shirts fly off the rack. This trend is still strong. These are beautiful shirts that go for $75 to $125 in the stores, $30 here.
Q. What do you like about downtown St. Petersburg?
A. I shopped around. It was very expensive on 4th St. and Central Ave. at the time and I fell in love with how cute this little corner store was. My philosophy was if I open up a niche then guys are going to find me. I chose the location because it's cute, it's easily accessible and affordable so I can keep my prices low for my customers.
Q. What is McB's niche market?
A. I'm perfect for the guy who's struggling in this economy. A lot of people have been hit hard and I was a part of that and that's why I opened this place. This is a place where guys can come and make money or save money. I'm a place where a guy can get the high end stuff from the mall and save a ton of money.
For More Information
McB's is located at 701 1st Ave. N. in St. Petersburg. Call 727-258-4932 or contact the store via Facebook.