I met Philip Saul at the Old & New pop-up shop in August in NYC and have been impatiently waiting his store Sault New England. The shop opened on September 8th and has already been the talk of the town. Located on Tremont Street in the South End of Boston, Philip has created the sort of men’s shop most folk wish existed but have never found. Until now of course. I hung out with Philip at his store this past Sunday and took some pictures of the amazing space and had a chat with him about the store, his favorite brands, what inspires him, and what makes this new shop so special.
Q. Where are you from originally and how did you find your way to Boston?
A. I’m originally form a small town in Pennsylvania, about 45 Min outside of Philadelphia. I moved here about 10 years ago for a position with Urban Outfitters. Ive always loved the New England area and its history. Boston is rich with history but still has plenty of green spaces so you don’t feel trapped in a “concrete jungle”. I love how Boston is positioned between amazing beaches on the Cape, and breathtaking mountains up North.
Q. What inspired you to open a men’s shop and how did you decide on the location?
A. I have always thought of opening a small shop of sorts. I just didn’t know how to put all the pieces together to make it happen. There have been a few shops that I have visited during my travels that have been inspiring to me. I love walking into a shop and instantly knowing the vision of the owner. It could be all new product all vintage or like SAULT a mix of both. In those instances I always make a point to tell the owner or the shop keep what a great space they have created. I think its important to not take creativity for granted.
Q. You have the perfect variety of goods in your store; it’s already a one-stop-shop. Can you elaborate on how you selected the brands and products you carry?
A. Since i live here in the South End I know the neighborhood pretty well and how diverse it is. I waned to make sure that almost anyone could come in enjoy the space and pic up something. I started out with the concept of carrying products and brands that I believe in and I own. I think its key as a small businesses owner to know your product and really believe in it. I think customers deserve to know a little something about what they are buying.
Q. What are some brands that you are really pumped to be offering to Boston residents?
A. I’m a huge fan of Rogues Gallery and how that brand fits into the New England lifestyle. The reaction has been so positive that I just added their flannels and some sweaters for fall. I’m psyched to have the brand Ivy Prepster in the shop. They are new company that’s based in here in Mass and I think they make the best knit ties and great patterned pocket squares. Perfect for that classic casual prep look. I’m excited to get in some button down shirts from the New England Shirt Company. They are also based here in Mass and have a rich history of making well made men’s shirts. I am also excited about getting in a newer brand called Penny-Stock. Its the perfect line that falls between Rogues and the preppy-er product.
Q. The antique accents and furnishings in your store are fantastic and really complete the space. Where are your favorite places for antiquing?
A. I really wanted SAULT to reflect my personal style. I think the mix of Old/ vintage and New is key to making the shop feel real and not too perfect. Its sort of like how I dress, vintage wingtips, classic dark wash jeans, maybe a casual basic tee and a classic cardigan. I will give my Dad 100% credit for teaching me/passing down his eye for finding the best “stuff” We would spend hours together going to flea markets and yard sales as a kid. It can be over whelming to some to look at but its all about the edited eye. Brimfield is prob. My favorite place to go to find antiques and collectibles. Everyone should experience it once in their life. That is if you like that sort of “stuff” I have collected things from all over to add the right look and feel to the shop. Actually, I have something good from every state in New England in the shop.
Q. What websites, magazines, books, movies, people, etc, do you use for daily inspiration?
A. I know this may be corny but I really find inspiration in everything I do. I look to the past and the present for fashion inspiration. I like like to people watch and like to pic out those who have great personal style. I know many magazines and web sites focus on young people for inspiration but, I have to say I think that Old School Bostonians have some amazing style. I do admit I have a bit of WASP envy.
Q. The South End is a very creative and energetic neighborhood, how do you anticipate the store becoming part of the community?
A. I really hope that SAULT New England becomes a South End Staple. I want to be the shop that people visit when they want something unique and clever. SAULT will always strive to inject some humor, be ironic, stay fresh, and always be original in everything we do.
PS Don’t miss out on their recently launched tumblr as well.