Throughout a decade working for the tech industry, Nadia Mousleh traveled to cities large and small around the U.S. There was one constant between them — while there were always a plethora of women’s clothing boutiques, there was another untapped market.
“There’s no men’s boutiques — ever!” Mousleh exclaimed.
Mousleh wanted to change that in Albuquerque with her new shop, Above Snakes, at 414 Romero NW in Old Town. The boutique is filled with a mix of vintage clothing and new clothing made using sustainable fabrics like cotton, linen and hemp in a range of prices. She also sells wallets and jewelry made by local artisans, as well as a several small-batch wellness products.
Soft fabrics in neutral colors fill the store. Mousleh stocked the store with “slow fashion” clothes that are made to order — to prevent industry waste — and produced without sweatshops. Comfort, quality and durability are most important, Mousleh said.
“I want people to wear the crap out of their garments,” Mousleh said. “I don’t want it to sit in the closet. … All these makers are really known for the quality of work, and the fact that you can wear these pieces over and over and over.”
There’s a sitting area in the store; Mousleh said many of the male customers aren’t used to having their partners watch them try on clothes.
“I have men that come in and they’re like, ‘I’ve never been in a men’s shop, I’ve never been in a men’s boutique’,” Mousleh said. “I have my little sitting area … and their partners weigh in on this or that. It’s really cool to have them trying on stuff and have them be supported to try to find pieces that make them feel good.”
Mousleh’s husband, Ben Bateson, models for the clothing shop. Mousleh herself has always loved fashion, and sourcing good vintage finds.
“Fashion’s for everyone,” Mousleh said. “I want to make it really clear that everyone deserves to feel good, and everyone deserves to wear things that make them feel good and give them confidence.”
The boutique is open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.