The once-vacant lot on University Boulevard is now home to a fashion-forward streetwear store called Dress Code. The store opened its doors on Aug. 11 and this “music driven fashion” shop is endearing itself to students by offering a "new kind" of contemporary fashion boutique on Main Gate Square.
One of the owners, Mustafa Dawoodbhoy, is very anxious to start the year on the right foot. After attending the University of Arizona 13 years ago, he understands the importance of providing "hip threads" to students.
“My three other siblings and I opened up our first shop on Campbell and Glenn our sophomore year of college,” Dawoodbhoy said. “It was a lot of work, but it was a big step for us.”
A lot of preparation and hard work went into opening the original store, according to Dawoodbhoy, but it all paid off when its popularity grew.
After experiencing success at the original location, the family opened up a larger store on Broadway Boulevard.
“Our Broadway store is six or seven times larger than [the University location],” Dawoodbhoy said.
Deciding to open up another location was an easy choice after such success, and Main Gate Square on University Boulevard was the "obvious" choice, Dawoodbhoy explained. Its prime location makes it easily accessible for students on campus.
Another key to the company's success is their online site, which is also very popular, Dawoodbhoy said.
Having multiple places for students to shop, whether in-person or online, has helped Dress Code to grow immensely.
The roots of the company were always based on the music industry. The original store featured band and musician tees, and after its initial popularity the store expanded its merchandise to include streetwear and fashion trends within the music industry.
Once inside the store, people can find an array of sneakers, hats, shirts and hoodies, featuring the newest and most popular brands that students "know and love," Dawoodbhoy explained.
After realizing that the store mainly catered to students from UA, Pima Community College and local high schools, Dawoodbhoy decided to pick up more cues from what people were wearing on campus.
“We pay attention to customer requests and what’s trending,” Dawoodbhoy said.
The store also focuses on providing a place for male students to shop, even though they do have men's and women's clothing and footwear.
There is a surplus of trendy, feminine boutiques all over University Boulevard, while there aren't a lot of stores dedicated to men’s fashion, Dawoodbhoy explained.
Expanding the market of men's fashion is very important on a densely-populated campus such as the UA, and its accessibility makes it likely that Dress Code will be male students' shop of choice.
Skylar Duhon, a pre-psychological science sophomore at UA, is on her third shift working at Dress Code.
Having never worked retail before, she wanted a fun and relaxed environment to work in while attending school.
“The hours are really flexible, there’s great discounts, and what’s better than working on University?” Duhon said.
She says she sees a lot of undergraduates and Greek Life students shopping at the store.
Duhon said working at Dress Code is a great way to stay connected and involved on the large campus while still having a job close to where she lives.
“It’s super fun working here, and it’s really chill.”
For those interested in working at Dress Code, they are still hiring people who love streetwear and new fashion trends.
Make sure to check out their website, DressCodeClothing.com, as well as the locations on University Boulevard and East Broadway Boulevard.
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