Graham Bell – Alexanders Menswear
If there’s a reason Napier men look savvy and sharp, it could well be because of Graham Bell. He’s been enlightening men about fashion and what to wear for more than four decades from his store, Alexanders on Tennyson.
Graham started his retail life in the unlikely fashion capital of Gore. “In the mid-1960s I worked in a fashion store called Farrys. It was at a time when Gore had the highest retail spend per head of population anywhere in New Zealand!”
After his stint in the south, Graham relocated to Napier and has been an independent retailer ever since.
Two thirds of Graham’s customers come from outside Napier, seeking his curated range of national and international men’s apparel brands including Scotch & Soda, Diesel and Florentino. And whether you’re classic, edgy or sophisticated (or a combination), Graham’s advice on how to look good is simple.
“As long as you are well groomed, smart and confident, you will fit in anywhere. Napier men in particular are looking so good at the moment and they should be proud of that.”
Graham says he’s fortunate to live and work in one of New Zealand’s most livable cities.
“Napier is forever changing, improving and it’s always exciting. Increasing tourism is having a big impact on the city giving it a more cosmopolitan feel. And as people travel overseas more, they bring back a more discerning aspect to their shopping habits. Restaurants, night-life, cultural events and social interaction have also given Napier a more sophisticated feel.”
Favourite shopping precinct
The Mediterranean and Art Deco flavours of Napier’s compact city centre give it a unique feel. The CBD has a wonderful range of independent stores, but with its perfect mix of specialist retailers, cafes, bars and galleries all gathered in a heritage area, Tennyson Street is my favourite shopping precinct of course!
When I’m not working…
We love walking around the city in the early morning, particularly around Tiffen Park’s winding garden paths. Fish and chips on the beach, going to the Urban market and watching a movie at the Globe Theatrette are also must-dos.
Words by Sarah Cameron – www.sarahcameron.co.nz
Photos by Alice Lee