The owner of Tres’ at Cottons – Ensley’s soon-to-open fine men’s clothing shop and grooming lounge – is bringing more than men’s fashion to one of Birmingham’s most historic neighborhoods. Tres’ Washington has been a proud Ensley resident and enthusiast for decades. But Summer 2015 marked a highpoint in his journey – one where his love for men’s clothing, grooming and passion for the reemergence of Downtown Ensley’s came to a head.
In an exclusive interview with Tres’, he gave us a glimpse into his motivations behind starting his biz. Find out how Tres’ at Cotton’s (opening January 2016) could be pivotal part of Ensley revitalization moving forward!
REV ~ Can you tell us a little about Tres’ Washington?
Tres’ ~ Well, I was born and raised in Ensley, AL. I graduated from Holy Family High School and immediately joined the workforce. While working, I began to develop and sharpen my skills for dressing. After some time, I was promoted to a management position in a clothing store and design studio located in Ensley. Seven years later, I was given the opportunity to purchase the Cotton’s building which lead me here today.
REV ~ What are your connections to Ensley?
Tres’ ~ I have lived in Ensley my entire life and graduated from Holy Family High School. During a particularly low point in my life, I met Mr. Antonio D. Spurling, Esq. who attended the same church as I. His law firm, Spurling Law happened to be located in Ensley as well. After some time, a mentorship began. Mr. Spurling gave me management positions at three of his businesses; Recycled Wardrobe, designer’s loft studio and Playover Games.
REV ~ Why’d you decide to locate your clothing store in Ensley?
Tres’ ~ As the director of designer’s loft studio I began hosting fashion shows here in Ensley as well as around the city of Birmingham. I also traveled as a fashion stylist. When the former owners of Cotton’s announced that they were selling the building, I saw that as an opportunity for my vision of Tres’ to come into fruition through the purchase of the Cotton’s building. Because of my relationship with Mr. Spurling and my time working in the Ensley community, I knew that opening my store in such a historic and iconic building would continue to help foster and bring growth to the Ensley community.
REV ~ Why the name “Tres’ at Cotton’s”/ Tell us about Tres’ at Cotton’s?
Tres’ ~ The name of my business is Tres’ Fine Dressing which is located inside the historic and iconic Cotton’s building on 19th Street in Ensley; hence the name “Tres’ at Cotton’s”.
After a soft launch this past summer and a grand opening in January of 2016, Tres’ will be a fine men’s clothing shop and grooming lounge that will be tailored for professional well-dressed man seeking a full service clothing and grooming experience. Tres’ will offer the finest men’s clothing and accessories, while specializing in men’s bespoke (customized) suits and dress shirts. At Tres’ we will encourage our clients to take advantage of our grooming area where they will be able to receive a shave, manicure, massage, have their shoes shined and their shirt pressed while enjoying a cup of coffee at the beverage bar. The goal for Tres’ is to leave our clients feeling 100% confident that their image is at its full potential. Tres’ will not only serve as a premiere clothing shop for men, but will also offer a woman’s boutique on the 2nd floor. There is an event hall located on the 3rd floor where vendors of Tres’ as well as outside designers will be able to host fashion shows to debut their newest clothing items, accessories or to debut next season’s clothing line.
REV ~ What role do you see Tres’ playing in Ensley’s ongoing revitalization efforts?
Tres’ ~ Apart from being the finest clothing shop and grooming lounge in Ensley, the city of Birmingham or the state of Alabama, Tres’ will serve as the catalyst of change for young men in the area who need to be groomed and prepped for better opportunities during their pursuit of a more successful lifestyle. Tres’ will also provoke, inspire and assist in the growth of the Downtown Ensley area and community overall. I believe that the success of Tres’ will be a pivotal and vital part of helping to incite and motivate the reemergence of successful businesses in the Downtown Ensley Community.