The Gentleman's Community: Let's talk Vintage!
Updated: Feb 10
“It’s attention to detail that makes the difference between average and stunning.” – Francis Atterbury
Working in DIFC has a lot of perks, especially when it comes to window-shopping during my lunch break. Being a huge fan of unique sunglasses, one store caught my intention – The Gentleman’s Community.
Year ago, I was walking through The Gate Avanue, when I spotted spectacular shades that I thought would be the best present ever for my friend who is a sunglasses collector. That’s how I met Karan Bangera, the Founder at The Gentleman’s Community, and his Business Partner - Goodluck Igwe.
I guess, no matter how good you are at something, to become successful you need to have a bit of good luck ;)
This amazing “Vintage duo” met each other while they were working in Luxury retail, although they both started their career in hospitality. This is a story about their entrepreneurship journey, and how it all started back in 2014.
“Luxury Vintage - For the Man who Honors the Past”
It was while rummaging through my father’s drawer in 2013, that some antique timepieces caught my eye and the everlasting love with Vintage began. From design aesthetic to craftsmanship, everything about the bygone era was captivating.
Here at the Gentleman’s Community, we aim to bring to you a slice of nostalgia.
Our first store located in the Gate Avenue DIFC, holds a collection of vintage eyewear, vintage ties, pocket squares, classic cufflinks, lapel pins, lighters, and cigar accessories. We also own a curated collection of vintage watches.
With the increasing popularity and demand for classic shapes, we have launched our private label for eyewear ‘The Archives’, representing the period of 60’s and 70’s.
AE: Which brands clients can find in your store?
All items have been carefully handpicked and are mainly sourced from selected boutique and vintage stores from Europe, Japan and the U.S.
We pride ourselves in curating “New Old Stock '' frames only, which would mean they are not preowned. We curated right from the 1970’s to 90’s.
With the increasing popularity and demand for classic shapes, we launched our private label for eyewear called ‘The Archives’, representing the period of 60’s and 70’s. Since we get inspiration from the past by combining it with modern craftsmanship, we have decided to also launch a small batch of Limited Edition frames every couple of months.
AE: What would you say who is your main clientele?
Our clientele is quite varied. We usually have a lot of local Emirati repeat clientele that are collectors and connoisseurs of eyewear, at the same time we also have a lot of clients that are newly getting into vintage. Last year we were honored to receive an enormously valuable online order of vintage frames from The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
AE: How would you describe your partnership?
Karan: Goodluck is my brother from another mother. I met him during my early days in Dubai and I truly believe God sent him on my path. He is a very strong pillar to the business managing operations and pretty much running the whole show while I'm away looking for the coolest vintage finds. His smile is contagious. He is the spirit of our brand.
Goodluck: My partnership with Karan is built on a trust and mutual understanding. He believes in me the same way I believe in him, and our success is based on the same vision, and mission executed with equal efforts.
AE: Recently you have opened the new branch – what was the main reason you have decided to make this bold move?
Yes, indeed, it was quite a bold move as you say. We saw a huge potential in opening our second location in Blue Waters right in front of Dubai Eye, but our decision was based on our own and very depth market research. While DIFC remains our flagship store, Blue Waters is just a teaser for a different audience. The reason behind choosing this location was to cater to the tourists visiting that area, especially considering the fact that we are facing a lot of visitors during the EXPO2020 exhibition, so I am very pleased to say that we are already seeing the return of investment.
AE: What was the biggest lesson you have learned out of Covid-19 crisis and how you have managed to keep business running?
We have surely learnt how to use our resources to the max. I would say the biggest lesson was to not take anything for granted and to put eggs into different baskets. We are very passionate about marketing and all its aspects, so we knew that we needed to keep the focus on all our sales platforms. Social media is definitely one of them, so we have doubled the efforts in content production. As you know, content is the king, so we are creating, sharing and promoting consistently. Learning from our own situation, the only advice we could give is to stick to your vision, have grit and take every day as it comes.
AE: What can we expect from Gentleman’s Community on a short and long run?
We are currently scouting for a third location and pushing our focus digitally on creating a similar experience for our online clients. We are working on a new Limited Edition collection to be released in collaboration with a New York based fashion photographer. Goodluck will be soon launching his own brand of bespoke suits. We are also looking to add more categories to the in-house collection of silver jewelry, leather goods and niche perfumes, so stay tuned!
AE: Your brand states itself that your products are made for male audience, but have you noticed purchases from women as well? True, the brand initially aims to cater to the classic man's needs, but over the years our women clientele has been growing rapidly. We carry a selection of women's vintage eyewear, watches, scarfs, and some rare vintage perfumes.
I am a living proof that all the (single) ladies will fall in love with The Gentleman's Community. Maybe we can't find a perfect man, but I can promise you, here you will find the perfect shades. I am a proud owner of two pairs, and hardly can resist getting a couple more.
...and the packaging itself… WOW! But will not spoil you that surprise.
For those of you who cannot make it to the store, they got you covered. Visit webstore www.thegentlemanscommunity.com and choose vintage, unique, classy and simply the best Valentine's gift this year!
Trust me, your habib(t)i will love you even more – if that is even possible ;)