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There are dozens of men's stores in San Francisco that can set you up with a suit; hundreds that offer menswear. So why did we choose Wingtip as the city's best men's store? It's the experience of walking into marble-walled Bank of Italy foyer, the level of customer service, and the passion the shop generates among its clients. Founder Ami Arad set out to create a single store that would provide "solutions for the modern gentleman," and Wingtip realizes that goal.
"I love clothing, I love accessories, I love bourbon, I play a little golf, I smoke cigars regularly, and it was tough to shop for all of those things," Ami says as he recalls his pre-retail days in software. Wingtip was the kind of shopping experience that he wanted. And the Wingtip Club on the top floors of the building? It's his way of rewarding the store's best customers for their loyalty, while introducing them to new products in a refined atmosphere.
Though the club is a unique perk, our favorite Wingtip room is the custom-suit salon in the former bank vault downstairs. The store's "Storyteller" David MacFadden-Elliott —yes, that's his real title— agrees. "I don't think you can beat the vault; just for the history of the place and intimacy and the experience." Wander inside, and you'll discover details like chairs custom-upholstered in suiting fabrics, and a Scotch selection for those who want a nip while being fitted.
While Wingtip is go-to spot for tailored items like suits, sports coats, tuxedos, and shirts, the store isn't exclusively the territory of the FiDi suit set. On the entry level, you'll find a fly-fishing department, men's furnishings, cigars, whiskey, and a barber shop. The casual offerings are somewhat limited, but Ami tells us that he's expanding the selection. "One of my major focuses for the next year is to expand the 'contemporary'— more denim, more five-pocket pants, casual shirts, casual outerwear." Of course, there's still the focus on quality. "Right now, we sell a cashmere hoodie made in London that's somewhere north of $1000. For the techie that doesn't want to wear the same hoodie as everybody else, we've got that."
No matter how the store adjusts its inventory, whether it's skewing toward apparel or cigars or hard-to-find gifts —Store Manager Michael Alzona recommends the champagne saber— Ami wants Wingtip to remain singularly dedicated to the men's market. "I want to have all have all the things I think guys want or need. Men can walk into our store and feel like it's a store for them."