Pockets Menswear owner David Smith is retiring after almost 40 years in business and sold his lease in Highland Park Village to his main supplier, Italian brand Ermenegildo Zegna.
Smith, 65, whose tag line is “Dress better than you have to,” said he plans to close his store by May 25. The store has been the place to shop for many Dallas CEOs and sports legends including Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw.
Zegna, which Pockets Menswear has been selling for more than 30 years, will open in November. Smith has agreed to work in the store three days a week during a six month transition.
Smith said Zegna called him and said they were interested in opening their own branded store in the Dallas market.
“But they said they wanted to talk to me first and really liked my spot. They’ve been great to me all these years,” Smith said. “They asked me what’s the number I need to exit my lease early.”
“It’s the right time for me to retire,” he said. Smith plans to visit his two adult children, who live in Austin and Peru, and his eight grandchildren. “My wife died about a year and a half ago and I really want to get to know my grandchildren.”
Smith and his late wife Margaret started the store in 1974 with $14,000 borrowed from his father.
That first location was a 500-square-foot shop next to a barber shop. It was in the Willow Creek apartments that were torn down several years ago at the northwest corner of N. Central Expressway and Walnut Hill Lane.
“Some of our first customers from the barber shop location are still shopping with us,” Smith said. Business has been good since the recession. “Ironically, 2012 was our second biggest year, after 2007.”