Brent Howell has always had a passion for fashion. He just never really thought it would get him anywhere – until recently, that is.
About a year ago, Howell started his own men’s clothing line, Southern Point Co. His classic polos and button downs can now be seen in storefronts of retailers in Birmingham and all across the Southeast, and several prominent Alabamians have been seen wearing his new line.
Howell, an Enterprise native, moved to Birmingham shortly after graduating from the University of Alabama. He majored in real estate finance, the field he assumed he’d be working in. But after a few years in the business, he still couldn’t get rid of the fashion bug.
“I’ve always had this passion for clothes,” said the 26-year-old. “Clothes just make people happy.”
While some clothing lines tend to be a bit over the top, Howell’s line is anything but trendy. Instead, he stuck with this own timeless, Southern style when it came to his clothing line. He wanted pieces that anyone could wear, and he wanted them to be well made.
“I wanted them to be styles that people would still be wearing 10 years from now,” he said.
The line consists of polos, T-shirts and button downs. All of his clothes are branded with his now-popular German shorthaired pointer standing at a point.
The logo was one of the first items of business Howell took care of when he decided to start his own clothing line. Inspired by time-tested logos like Ralph Lauren’s polo player, he began searching for a logo that would best represent his Southern clothing line and something that he could believe in.
He found that something close to home – in his yard, in fact.
“I have a German shorthaired pointer, and I was looking outside and took a picture of her pointing,” Howell said. “It just made sense. I love my dog, and I like hunting. We also had a game room growing up with pictures of upperclassmen hunting with pointers.”
Now, Howell’s pointer, Greyton, is on every product produced by Southern Point and is also the namesake of his popular polo shirts.
After establishing the logo and design, Howell began soliciting retailers to carry his line. It was a daunting task at first, but his clothing line was quick to gain appeal from high-end men’s retailers across the Southeast.
To date, Southern Point is carried in 50 men’s stores in 12 states. While the line is carried mainly in the South, Howell does have retailers in Maryland and Michigan. Locally, the brand can be found at both Remon’s locations as well as Mobley & Sons in Crestline.
“We started carrying it right before Christmas last year,” said Hunt Mobley, owner of Mobley & Sons. “It’s been real popular. It has that local appeal. He (Howell) lives here in town.
“It’s one of Birmingham’s only clothing lines, which is a little different and unusual. It’s also a real quality-made garment. It has a really nice fit.”
Howell’s shirts come in a variety of colors and patterns, none too bold, of course. Some of his most popular are his polos and button downs in Alabama and Auburn colors.
It’s been just over a year since Howell started his Southern Point clothing line, and it seems to be catching on quickly. This fall, he plans to add another item to his line, a zip-up pullover in navy, as well as additional colors to his polos and T-shirts. Later in the year, he said, the line should also include hats and visors.
“We don’t want to grow too fast, but everything is just happening so quickly,” he said. “I just hired some reps to distribute and sell the line. This is just not what I expected for the first year.”
He also never expected to see so many people walking around wearing his clothing line. In the past year, the son of Alabama gubernatorial candidate Robert Bentley was seen wearing the brand on the campaign trail, as was a state senator in Mobile.
“That’s still really the greatest thing, is being out and seeing people wearing it,” Howell said. “It’s great to go to the store, and the retailer to have good comments. The best is just seeing people out everywhere wearing it.”
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