|(Photo Courtesy of D Magazine)|
Patrick B. Ware
- manager of Traffic LA at The Joule
- manager of Traffic LA at The Joule
- former owner of Warehaus men’s boutique in West Village
- From Victoria, TX
- Lives in Dallas, TX
I’ve finally escaped the glaring summer sun that slowly but surely caused me to question my decision to wear a blazer today. I’m sitting inside Traffic LA at The Joule Hotel, the “contemporary designer boutique” that is undeniably every fashion lovers dream store. Across from me is store manager and former menswear boutique owner, Patrick Ware, whom I’ve had the pleasure of calling a family friend since the age of 11. At very first glance, it might seem as though he and I are discussing some deeply important social crisis…however anyone close enough to hear our conversation would know we’re merely raving about Janet Jackson’s newly released single, “No Sleep.” For those who aren't aware, Patrick is what I like to call a Janet Jackson fanatic; his appreciation for her style and music runs way deep and if I were you, I would not come for the queen while he’s around.
Before we get started, I also have to mention that during my time with Patrick not one, but two Janet Jackson songs came on the store radio. Coincidence… ehhh probz not.
D: What originally sparked your interest in the fashion industry and pursuing a career in it?
P: Honestly, I didn’t care anything about fashion…I was playing basketball in college, and you know, being an athlete, that was all I really cared about. My last two years in college, in the 90s, preppy designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren became very popular…oh and L.L. Bean! Wow, that’s kind of scary. Anyways, after that I started modeling and getting into the club scene, it was sort of the era of Janet Jackson truly being Janet; the style was all baggy jeans and Sketchers, then she went with more of an Indian theme and I started really looking at the trendier side of fashion. I actually lucked into the retail world, though!
D: What was one of your very first jobs that had any relation to the fashion industry?
P: *with a chuckle* Actually my first job in fashion was right after college at Natural Wonders, a nature store at NorthPark Mall. After that I worked at the only BeBe we had at the time here in Dallas at the Galleria. The district manager of BeBe actually came into Natural Wonders looking for something for her niece and nephew and asked “What are you doing working at this store?” I told her that I was modeling but, you know, I needed money on a regular basis! So, one thing led to another and I worked for BeBe for a couple of years. Soon after, my friend opened up a store and it kind of went from there.
D: Of all the people and things that have influenced your style over the years, who or what do you think has influenced you the most?
P: You know what…I don’t like things too trendy because I like things simple, I like a uniform. But the people that really inspire me and I look at, not just because we look similar, are Seal and Sting…I love them both. I like them because it’s not about wearing every trend every time, they have their uniform and I like that, it inspires me.
D: When you made the decision to open your men’s boutique, Warehaus, what were some of your apprehensions; additionally what led to the closing of the store?
P: One of the main reasons I opened Warehaus is because when I was working for other stores, a lot of my clients kept telling me, “OPEN A STORE!” One of my friends jokingly said you should call it “Warehaus” because of my last name. I thought that was funny because, growing up people always wanted to come over to my family’s home and they would say “Oh, let’s go to the Ware house,” so that’s the reason that I called the store Warehaus. But, I also wanted people to feel comfortable coming into my “house” and, you know, you treat each person like that’s the last person you’re going to see that day. So that was the whole concept! (On the closing of Warehaus) Honestly, it was one of those things for me that was a dream, and I think it ran its course when it needed to. I needed to go through that to get to where I am now. When I found out that we had to close the doors, we really just wanted to leave the business honestly, without owing anyone or having a bad name. I feel that the two years was good and what we needed..I definitely think location played a part. I also noticed that in the Dallas market, consumers really want a name brand, where as I was trying to bring brands that no one else had. There’s a small percentage of people that really get that. Fortunately, I had two incredible business partners! Always find someone who’s the opposite of you, and you’ll have a great balance.
D: What is the most challenging aspect of your work here at Traffic?
P: One challenge of the store is getting people down here because they just get confused and turned around by downtown; also, they don’t understand some of the things we offer. For example, our customers can valet at the Joule Hotel and we’ll validate your ticket so it’s on us! Also just getting the name out there because in Dallas we’re still a baby, we’ve been around for about two and a half years, or so.
D: What quality do you possess as an individual in this industry that you feel is very beneficial to your craft?
P: I think one quality I reflect is that I do care about the customer. I’m not just trying to sell you something just because, I’m selling you an experience rather than just, “Here’s a shirt that looks good.” And that’s also just me as a person, I want people to enjoy my company.
D: Is there a timeless trend that you love and feel like you’ll never get sick of?
P: A tailored blazer! I’m liking the trend going on right now that women have actually been doing for years, the boyfriend jean…do they call it boyfriend jeans for boys? (Anyone please feel free to enlighten us) Anyways I’m liking the boyfriend jean with a nice tailored blazer. I’ve always loved a tailored jacket, it’s easy. And I love denim on denim…on denim on denim! *laughs* I know it’s been around forever but it’s one of the best looks.
D: What’s one popular trend right now that absolutely gets on your nerves?
P: Hmmmm…oh those studded shoes, I guess. It’s kind of been around for years but, yes those.
D: Dream dinner party guests?
P: Of course since we were on the topic…Janet Jackson! NeNe Leakes, Whoopi Goldberg, Sidney Poitier, Oprah, Barbara Walters, Hugh Jackman, and Solange Knowles…I find her to be very interesting! At first I didn’t like her, then I saw her at the House of Blues in Dallas and that’s when I truly fell for her. She’s a someone who can really sing, can really perform, and she’s her own person.
D: What’s a big goal of yours that you still wish to accomplish in life?
P: I want to take a month off and travel! I’ve always worked and I’ve programed myself to where if I’m off for even a week, I get antsy. I feel like I just have to go back to work, and I’ve never taken the time to just take a break. I think that sounds so simple, but that’s one thing that I would tell anyone, younger or older than me, you have to take a break sometimes. You know, just to reboot…and I haven’t really rebooted since I was 18 years old.
D: Please make that happen soon! You deserve it…Where would you go on your time off?
P: Tuscany! Without a doubt. I just want to go to a small village and go to a restaurant where I know the waiter, owner, and locals and just sit and have a conversation about life. That will happen… it has to happen.
Make sure to check out all of the dope buys at Traffic LA by clicking here...http://www.shoptrafficla.com/ :) And if you live in the Dallas area, get yourself to the store like, asap.