The Factory makes men's fashion its mission 

click to enlarge Jimi Wonder poses for a photo at The Factory menswear boutique in Oklahoma City, Thursday, July 21, 2016. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Jimi Wonder poses for a photo at The Factory menswear boutique in Oklahoma City, Thursday, July 21, 2016.

With an ever-growing city around them, Oklahoma City residents can discern fashion faux pas like never before.

Fortunately, local tastemakers Megan Uber and Ashley Liddell noticed there was an upscale fashion niche that needed to be filled. Early on, it became clear that the market gap in menswear was large and, therefore, the shop’s path to success.

Only in their early 20s, Uber and Liddell had a vision for Oklahoma City’s growth, especially in the fashion industry.

“[As lifelong lovers of fashion], we wanted the city to have something they’ve never seen,” Uber said.

The duo traveled to different cities and even countries to find designers that could be exclusive to The Factory, 1100 N. Broadway Ave., Suite 103. Uber said it was challenging to convince people to take their start-up seriously.

“It was pretty difficult. We were young, and we were two girls. It was hard to get people to trust us, to find a space,” Uber said. “Having to get a brand to trust us was so foreign; they want their brands in big places. People asked us where Oklahoma is or if we had roads. We had to figure out how to get people to trust us with the vision of OKC.”

Uber said there are many reasons the city is a great place to start a creative business, one being that there is room to grow.

“We represent progression, something new; OKC is different than even five years ago,” Uber said. “We want to be leaders in more than fashion, [and] we are also entrepreneurs. We want the city to help the city grow in technology.”

After gaining the trust of big brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim, “best of the best” brands for Oklahomans, including some high-end Italian brands and Yeezy sneakers designed by Kanye West, it seems the company has gained the trust of fashion connoisseurs.

“We get a call every day about Yeezys,” Wonder said.

The shoes can cost several hundred dollars.

“People see our price point as high, but we have high school kids who come in to look and ask our opinion,” Uber said. “It’s cool to see the young kids come in; they teach us.”

The Factory employs three people other than the owners, including Jimi Wonder, creative director and proud wearer of in-store products.

As time passes, the crew keeps meeting the mounting challenges of business expansion, especially online store.

In addition to bringing luxury to locals inside its modern, Fitzsimmons Architects-designed brick-and-mortar shop, The Factory also expands OKC’s commerce economy. Due to its central U.S. location, Oklahoma is a more convenient place for shipping.

“We can ship to either coast quicker than the coasts can ship to each other,” Uber said. “It’s really picked up this summer. It’s our main thing now.”

One attribute The Factory shares with the local community is its encouragement of local fashion gurus as well as anyone who wants to be a part of the city’s expansion, especially youths. Its message to them is “Don’t give up.”

“We get to have a voice in the community since what we do is so new,” Wonder said. “You can do something too, even though it’s not Los Angeles or New York.”

Visit shopthefactoryokc.com.

Print headline: Stylish investment, The Factory offers fashion-forward styles, designers and shopping experiences for Oklahoma City residents.

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