In an area where men are known to get dirty working on cars or riding quads, the men of NEPA aren’t most often thought of for their sense of fashion.
When it comes to heading back to school, however, it’s another story. Dee Bonner, owner of E.P. Fashion inside the Mall at Steamtown in Scranton said fashion is just as important to men as women.
“Men like to look good,” Bonner said. “They may not always be the first to admit it, but they do. There’s this big misconception that only pretty boys like to look good.”
For the past 15 years, Bonner has dedicated his life to fashion, starting in New York and working his way up from the bottom.
“I like to picture fashion as a blank canvas of individual expression. What you wear is like painting a picture,” he said.
When he brought E.P. Fashion to NEPA a few years ago, he wanted to give people a color pallet unlike any other in the area to paint their picture of individuality.
With brands for sale such as Diamond Supply, Deep, Ron Bass and Born Fly, Bonner prides himself on providing shoppers with “a style that is unique, distinguished and very diverse.”
E.P. Fashion is either with or ahead of most of the fashion trends found in major cities, Bonner said.
“Imagine the fashion influence of the U.K., Japan, Cali and New York all in one location. That’s how we do,” he said.
Both men and women who shop at Bonner’s boutique won’t find clothes that everyone else is wearing.
“All fashion forward items are generally four of a kind so you don’t have to worry about seeing everyone with the same thing,” he said on the exclusivity of the brands found in his store.
While Bonner caters to men and women, he gets pleasure out of the guys that come in and find excitement when they realize how fresh they look in something that nobody in the area will be wearing.
Fall fashions are arriving just in time for back to school. Updates on shipment can be found on instagram @epfashion_
The loyalty continues
When Brian Nardella started working at his friend’s barbershop six years ago, it was hard to imagine the journey it would take him.
From barber to co-owner of what transitioned into Loyalty Barbershop and Shave Parlor in Archbald, Nardella grew a strong rapport with his clients. James Simon, who started out as a customer getting his hair cut, was inspired to change careers and go to school to be a barber - ultimately becoming a business partner at Loyalty.
Over the past few years, the men of Loyalty - Brian Nardella, Brian Toxic, Anthony Ranella and James Simon - have trimmed the stereotypes of men who cut hair.
“There’s a difference between a barber and a cosmetologist. We don’t color hair or do perms,” Ranella said.
Something else that cosmetologists don’t have - their own beer!
A novelty of the barbershop is that while waiting to be next for a fresh cut or clean shave, you can enjoy a complimentary beer - including the locally brewed Loyalty Barber Shop Shaving Cream Ale from 3 Guys and a Beer’d.
“It started out as a special item, but it became so popular they kept making it. Now it’s found in bars and distributors around the area,” Nardella said.
These four tattooed men find the concept of the barbershop to be something special.
“No matter what year it is, no matter what culture you’re in, people just f — king love going to the barbershop,” Simon said.
People certainly love going to Loyalty. Their social media fan base alone has over 3,200 fans - and counting.
Due to the popular demand of word of mouth, Loyalty will be expanding this October by opening a second location in downtown Scranton.
“Dad’s bring their kids in for the experience. Dad’s bring their dad’s in for the experience,” Ranella said of the time-honored tradition.
“It’s such an old American tradition and it’s always been that way. We have seen people at their worst and their best. Everything from graduation to their marriage to a death in the family. It’s always a stop,” Simon said.
Walk-ins are welcome during business hours for back-to-school trims.
Business hours can be found at Facebook.com/LoyaltyBarberShop