Enigma.Co

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Jonathan Brust

By Lauren Hittinger

Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed a distinct lack of stores for men in the Capital Region. Women get all of the fun boutiques and quaint shops, while the men are left waiting on the couch for shopping to be over.

Recently Jonathan Brust has done something to change that. He just opened Enigma.Co, a men's clothing shop. Located in downtown Troy, Brust is aiming to elevate men's style by offering interesting brands and goods.

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Brust, who's 24 years old, has a few ideas why there is a relative scarcity of shops for men in the area. "It's not expected [for men] like it is for women. Guys just don't think about clothing. For a long time it was weird for guys to care."

He says he originally came up with the idea of opening a menswear shop while drinking with friends. While teasing a buddy for his generic underwear, the group realized that there weren't any good options for men's shopping in the area. "Men around here don't have the opportunity to explore designer goods," he said.

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Brust has a background in landscape construction, but wasn't inspired by the idea of a career in that area. So he decided to draw on his retail experience and start Enigma.Co, which celebrated its soft opening this past August Troy Night Out.

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Brust is focusing on t-shirts, jeans, button-ups, shoes, underwear, personal care products and other accessories. I was impressed that Brust could speak at length about each product, offering details about every designer and brand, and often had personal stories of convincing a brand to be stocked in his brick-and-mortar shop.

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Because of the designer nature of the products, you'll certainly see prices higher than in mall shops. For example, Enigma.Co carries a line of denim from Mott + Bow, a New York City-based company. A pair of these jeans will run you $96, although Brust points out its high quality Turkish denim.

Some of the brands at Enimga.Co will be familiar to the fashion-conscious, like Ben Sherman, Original Penguin, and Ursa Major skincare. Others are emerging US brands like JD Fisk, and Roosevelt Grooming Company, a Cohoes-based company that refinishes vintage straight razors.

While I imagined price would be a turn-off to the "everyday man," Brust is not concerned. "With any boutique you have a price jump," Brust said, "but these are USA made, and USA based companies. You're buying quality product. People don't bat an eye at it, at least not yet." Brust says the products range in price from $8 to over $100.

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So if you're ready to upgrade from your Hanes, Enigma.Co can help. Brust assured me that modal and bamboo blends breathe better to keep you cool where it counts.

Enigma.Co hours: Tuesday-Friday 11 am-6 pm, Saturdays 9 am-5 pm.

Lauren writes about shopping, crafting, and living well on a small budget at The Thrifty Ginger.

Find It

Enigma.Co
16 1st Street
Troy, NY 12180

Comments

That's awesome. There really is nothing for younger men with a couple of bucks to spend.

Good brands, reasonable prices and not the mall.

It would though be interesting to learn how he got the business going.

Great writeup! And thanks for mentioning Roosevelt Grooming Company!

Enigma.Co is exactly what the Capital Region needed and I think it opened at just the right time. There's definitely been a resurgence in fashion consciousness among men and it's nice to see a local business at the forefront. The selection of clothing, shoes and personal grooming products is top notch.

As for the prices...they're a little higher than you may see at some discount chain stores but better quality is often a better value. A pair of good-quality jeans will still be looking great long after a cheaper pair is in the rag pile.

"Women get all of the fun boutiques and quaint shops..."

Lauren, I don't mind shopping, but I rarely find it fun. I'm typical. I do care how I dress, and welcome more and better options, but the act of shopping is not something I relish.

That's why there are very few "fun boutiques and quaint shops" for men, we don't give a crap.

Congrats to him and to Troy! The prices don't bother me. But the store hours are not very convenient.

This is fantastic. The hours seem confusing to me though, one would think the store would aim to tailor to those with 9-5 jobs who have enough disposable income to buy something great here. These hours seem to miss the target market of professional/working young guys (aside from the Saturday hours). Being open until 7 on weekdays and Sunday hours would be nice.

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for all the kind words and excitement. We are really excited to be part of the beautiful Troy Community. In topic of men's shopping, we would like to take the emphasis out of shopping alone, making it more of an experience in which people can come and enjoy as we will be having men's focused events as well as how to's in time to come, as well as services to the people like the ability to have a dry-clean prop off location right here in shop. In reference to operational hours, those hours were just used as a trial basis and have already changed to better service the community, keeping the doors open later for the working individuals as well as bridging the gap between Troy's growing retail district and beautiful nightlife venues.

Please bare with us, and join us as we grow.
Thanks,
Jonathan

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