Lone Flag Menswear Brings a New Look for Men in San Diego
Written By: Jeannette Swanson Lone Flag Menswear
Located within the Flower Hill Promenade in Del Mar, Lone Flag offers San Diego men a carefully curated menswear shopping experience. Since opening in 2013, Lone Flag has cleverly filled a void for men who expect more from their clothing. Men in cities such as San Francisco or New York City rarely have to stray more than a few blocks to find a boutique with a curated selection of menswear clothing and, up until 2013, this type of clothing just couldn’t be found in San Diego.
Sam Larson and his wife Kelli planted the pioneering seed for a menswear boutique in North County “not because it was a smart idea to do so, but because it just wasn’t there, ” Sam explains.
What’s immediately clear about this shop are its unmatched aesthetic qualities and atmosphere. While a department store with endless racks of clothing can be overwhelming, Lone Flag’s environment is warm and inviting. Clean white walls with minimal shelving feature supplementary lifestyle items and a friendly staff can be found at the shop’s center around a fashionable butcher-block type table. A shopper at Lone Flag will also find a fine selection of complementary items to pair with their basic core apparel. These supplementary lifestyle items may include a stainless steel pen, periodical, and messenger bag.
The presence of Lone Flag has created a solution for men who used to travel to Los Angeles to purchase cult brand clothing that couldn’t be found in San Diego. With a convenient location just minutes off the 5 Freeway, Lone Flag attracts customers from south of downtown and all the way up to Orange County.
Larsen and his team tend to ignore what styles are trending at the moment and instead focus their attention on what’s happening in terms of longevity.
“My guess is that if you wear a white fitted Oxford, 10 years from now you’re never going to look back and wonder, ‘Why did I have a white fitted Oxford?’ But there’s probably a point in time where a white Oxford with pink polka dots is going to be cool and that’s fine, but it won’t have longevity, ” Sam points out.
Lone Flag’s bread and butter rests upon a core customer base of men in their 30s and 40s, but a man who is 65 or 16 can walk in and leave with a timeless item for their closet. Whereas retailers such as PacSun, Forever 21 and H&M focus on a certain age and time in someone’s life, Lone Flag does not necessarily skew toward any certain age group.
In a store where 99 percent of store merchandise is geared toward men, 50 percent of the store’s customer base are surprisingly women: “There’s a ton of women who probably wish that the guys in their life dressed better, ” Sam says.
Another draw to Lone Flag is their in-store tailoring. Most of their shirts and tops are already tailored, but denim can be a whole other ball game. This issue of perfectly fitting pants is solved by custom hemming a pair of denim to a customer’s desire.
“It’s a little nerdy, but for most guys that are used to buying cheaper pairs, you’re just living in this world where you’re this 32-inch inseam, where the reality is that most people aren’t the even numbers that you get from a cheaper pair, ” Sam explains.
The first rate service doesn’t cease there. Sam makes sure that his staff is knowledgeable about their premium products, much more so than you’d find at a department store; each staff member will know the fit, function, sourcing and just about any other element about any piece in the store. With knowledge also comes honesty: The Lone Flag staff isn’t afraid to suggest another item for a customer if they feel it’s necessary. Attention to detail and dedication to style are what sets Lone Flag apart and keeps customers coming back for more.
Three For One: A second space located within Liberty Station entitled Moniker General opened in March 2016. In collaboration with the Moniker Group, this second concept space combines HOLD, Lone Flag’s newest brand, coffee from Moniker Coffee Co. and brews from 32 North Brewing Co. Located directly across from the Stone Brewery tasting room, customers can make a day out of perusing all three aspects.
The Perfect Pair: Sam’s wife, Kelli, owns and operates a children’s brand entitled Rylee & Cru. Clothing for this brand is designed and manufactured in Los Angeles.
The Changing Times: 30 to 40 percent of Lone Flag’s business is conducted online. About 90 percent of that number is out-of-state and the rest is international including Japan, Australia and Europe.
Lone Flag Menswear
2690 Via De La Valle Ste D140
Del Mar, CA 92014