As the owners of Sugar Britches in downtown Asheville, we were delighted to see that Mountain Xpress devoted an article to local costume shops in its Dec. 1 issue [“Going Out in Style: Asheville’s Costume Shops Serve Diverse Community Desires”]. The cover even featured a variation on our tagline: Dress to Thrill!
However, we were disappointed to find that we weren’t mentioned at all in the article. Sugar Britches features a range of found, handmade and upcycled clothing and accessories, provided by at least 15 of Asheville’s most talented designers. Our pieces span the gamut from straight-up costume offerings to carefully curated upscale consignment pieces with rock ’n’ roll flair. We also showcase the high art of Asheville’s costume couture scene, including pieces created for Asheville Community Theatre’s Costume Drama show as well as Color Me Goodwill.
Additionally, we have hosted FASHMOB, a cooperative effort among local fashion photographers, models, makeup and hair artists, and designers. We also sponsored and created a uniquely costumed Christmas tree display for Rabbit Rabbit’s Winter Tree Carnival, with a portion of proceeds benefiting MANNA FoodBank. Our initial effort at bringing Sugar Britches to life at Foundation in the River Arts District in 2019-20 was cut short just 10 months into our operations by the pandemic. However, we are now open at a brand-new location downtown (31 Page Ave.) and would encourage your readers to stop by and check out a truly “Asheville” shop.
— Michael Franco and Diane Curry
Editor’s response: We appreciate your letter and regret that we could not include all of Asheville’s wonderful costume shops in the piece. The article was intended to look at different approaches to running costume shops, as well as how the featured shop owners arrived at where they are today. Due to space, this required us to limit our focus to three businesses.