Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mark Piscitelli Men's Fashions

I got an email from Salvatore (Tore) Piscitelli, inviting me to come and take pictures at Mark Piscitelli Men's Fashions. I knew the building, a 1920's style, two-story corner store on the shady side of Green Street in the Playhouse District. I've always wondered about that building. I told Tore, "I don't do advertising!" Which isn't quite accurate. I like to tell you about interesting stores and restaurants. But what's in it for me? Maybe some architectural history.


At the store I was met by Michael Amer, who showed me around. He's very knowledgeable about the merchandise, which includes everything from suits and tuxedos to cufflinks and the store's signature scent for men. This is no off-the-rack, $99 suit warehouse. It's a men's fashion boutique. Some items are exclusive to the store, some are handmade or made to measure. And considering the quality, the prices are reasonable.

Oh, did I mention? These guys are into color.


But I wanted to know about the building. "Let's have the info, Michael," I said, "and make it snappy." Except I was more polite than that. You have to be, when folks are so well dressed.


Michael knows his stuff. The building, at 589 E. Green Street, was built in the 1920's. Its first purpose was for growing orchids. Back then the part of the store shown above had a dirt floor.

If you look in the mirror you can see the false ceiling. Above it there's a skylight that used to shine natural light on the orchids I was stepping on.

Here we look out at the elegant old building across the street, which houses corporate offices of a giant company. Neither Michael nor I had ever seen anyone enter or leave the building.

Here I am standing in the dirt again, looking out to the part of the store that was once the customer service area of the orchid place.

After the orchids it became a real estate office. In the 1980s the building housed an interior design firm, which was there until 2009 when Mark Piscitelli took it over. Before that, Mark Piscitelli was at Hudson and Green for 22 years.

Tore and I each get what we want here. He gets a plug for the store, which is lovely, carries an incredible variety of fine stuff, and smells good. I learned some Pasadena architectural history and met new people, and that's always a plus. Besides Michael I also met Frank, who was equally handsome and well dressed.

They've got quiet tones if you want them. But I don't think you're going to find a rack of slacks like these anywhere else. And ask about the chemical-free jeans.

You are welcome to stop by. You can shop, or just enjoy the building. Don't miss the cash register, even though you'll have to step on the orchids to get a good look at it.

17 comments:

William Kendall said...

I do like the architecture! Quite a shop!

We have some proper tailor shops here as well, as opposed to the multitude of off the rack shops that any town will have.

Petrea Burchard said...

Nice. If I remember correctly, Michael told me they have three tailors, each with a different specialty.

altadenahiker said...

Great photos!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Not just pink pants but about five shades of pink -- and I want them all! but I think I might have to drug Mr V to get him in a pair. I did get him in a pink T once, so there is hope.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, Hiker, that's nice of you. I imagine they were dismayed when I showed up with an iPhone, but it's not a bad camera.

PA, I don't think John has pink anything, except perhaps socks we washed with something red (of mine). But he's considering a new tie, based on these photos.

Shell Sherree said...

Pink is my language, Petrea ~ I'd be tempted to pick up a pink shirt for myself there. And I'd definitely ask about the chemical-free jeans !! Such a lovely location ~ it would have been beautiful as an orchid greenhouse-store, too.

Petrea Burchard said...

If I wore ties I'd wear the deep purple, Shell. And I was especially interested in the chemical-free jeans.

llandudnopictures said...

They have some fabulous looking items in there, I'm sure I would enjoy a good browse... or perhaps 'rummage' is more appropriate!

Petrea Burchard said...

Browse, rummage, nose around. I'm sure you're welcome, Geoff!

Bellis said...

I've driven past there many times but had no idea what a lovely store it is inside. Who would have thought there used to be orchids in there? Did you see any customers? I imagine some of them are really good-looking, especially in those smart clothes. Your photos are indeed lovely.

Petrea Burchard said...

They had just opened when I got there, Bellis. I had the place to myself for a bit before people began to come in. I'm not a very good people photographer, so I try to get shots without folks in them.

Ms M said...

Fascinating post and wonderful photos! Fun to learn about the history of the shop and see its current incarnation.

Petrea Burchard said...

Pasadena's pretty good about reusing and repurposing buildings. It's one of the best things about living here.

TheChieftess said...

Love this little spot with its lovely history!!! TheChief doesn't wear ties any more and I don't think pink pants are in the mix...but there were a couple of shirts that look like they'd fit into TheChief's wardrobe!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

Every person has their own style. I don't have a great fashion sense so I need a personal shopper!

BettyS said...

Thanks, Petrea, I've often wondered about this store when I drive by. It has a way of catching the eye, for some reason. I have no need or reason to go into a menswear store, so I appreciate the vicurious peak. :)

Petrea Burchard said...

Ha! Way to use "vicurous" in a sentence, BettyS. A few people have scolded me about the "misspelling."