To enter Heimie’s Haberdashery in Lowertown St. Paul is to step back into a world well-curated. From the moment you cross the threshold, you feel the gravitas of family tradition as well as the dedication to craft. Thoughtfully adorned with vintage casework, carefully selected antiques and tasteful taxidermy, the ambience is at once refined and welcoming.
The shop’s proprietor, Anthony Andler, gives us a glimpse into the storied history of Heimie’s and their more than 90 years in the menswear industry. “My grandfather, Heimie Andler, came to Saint Paul from Russia in 1917, in the midst of the Russian Revolution. It was a painful and difficult experience, as you can imagine. He was a master tailor and eventually, in the early 1920’s, he opened a tailor shop on Saint Paul’s Old Seventh Street. After World War II, my grandfather and my father, Ralph, opened a ready-to-wear and tailoring shop, Heimie’s Menswear. My father worked there most of his life, until he retired in 1993.”
Following in well-heeled footsteps, Anthony also took an interest in the family business. “I was opening boxes and pressing clothes in the basement when I was 13 years old, and eventually began a long apprenticeship with my grandfather.” says Andler. Unfortunately, Heimie’s Menswear was sold in 1995, shortly after Ralph Andler passed away. The name was changed and the store closed its doors only a year later. After a stint acting and directing in Los Angeles, Anthony found a passion for designing and crafting leather goods. In 2001, he opened the Artist Mercantile, agallery showcasing local handcrafted items. Having rekindled a love for menswear and accessories, Anthony reopened the family business on St. Peter Street in 2004 under its current name.
With a nod to its heritage, today Heimie’s Haberdashery specializes in bespoke and ready-to-wear suits and menswear, luxury leather goods, accessories, footwear and hats. With the addition of barbers, a tobacconist and shoe shine services, the ambience and inventory at Heimie’s reflect the consummate gentleman behind the counter. Impeccably styled with effusive charm, Anthony breaks from history long enough to regale us with far-flung future plans. “Someday I’d like to film a documentary. I’d like to ride my horse from here to Alaska.” A plan that has potential to add yet another fascinating chapter to the rich tapestry that is Heimie’s story.