Boutique, local tenants are a huge part of why each of Trademark’s properties have their own unique vibe and feel. At WestBend in Fort Worth, two TCU grads saw an opportunity to fill a hole in the market, and Pax & Parker was born. Co-owner Winston Parker Lee talks with us about his journey as a young entrepreneur, why authenticity is key when it comes to what you’re wearing, and fills us in on the hottest fall fashion trends.
Q: How did you get into fashion?
A: I’ve always had an interest in fashion on some level. I can remember wanting to dress myself at a very young age. It wasn’t until my undergraduate studies at University of the Incarnate Word that I decided to make it a career and lifestyle. I switched my major from pre-med to fashion merchandising and never looked back. I began volunteering at local fashion shows and scored an internship working showrooms at the Dallas World Trade Center during markets. When I graduated, I took my first job as an Assistant Buyer at Julian Gold, a San Antonio-based legacy retailer. It was then that I fell in love with the business side of fashion.
After completing my MBA at Texas Christian University, I decided that I had no interest in working in a corporate environment. I wanted to be involved in a startup or work for a small company, and I also wanted to get back into fashion. The idea for Pax & Parker came up during a conversation with my former colleague and now business-partner, Alari Paxson. We both saw a void in the Fort Worth market for higher-quality apparel. Alari was still working for Julian Gold and was craving more professionally. She also yearned to be back in Fort Worth, the town she grew to love while studying at TCU. Building Pax & Parker was the perfect way for both of us to satisfy our professional wants/needs.
Q: Who is your fashion inspiration?
A: Honestly, I do not look to one person, designer, or brand for style inspiration. I’m most inspired by people who are authentic to themselves and who are confident expressing that authenticity through their fashion choices.
Q: What experience can the customer expect shopping in your store?
A: Personalized service. As business owners and buyers, we pride ourselves on being accessible to our customers. The more you shop with us, the more our assortment will become tailored to your needs. We’re capable of being incredibly responsive and refocusing our merchandise mix to better serve our clients. That said, we make a hard point to create a welcoming, judgement-free, pretention-free shopping environment.
Q: What should we be wearing this fall?
A: Women will see lots and lots of bomber jackets – every color and fabrication. Menswear is still focused on blending comfort, performance, and style. Lightweight, unstructured sports coats are a must-have. Green is the favored color across both categories.
Q: Any advice for other young entrepreneurs?
A: Don’t over think it, just start making it happen. Ask as many questions as you can and share your idea with anyone who will listen. Networking is a must!