Everyone needs someone who will answer “Do I look good in this?” with complete honesty — ideally before they make a purchase. If you shop at Steven Dann, that person might just be your sales rep.

Do I look good in this? - Steven Dann will answer you honestly

Do I look good in this? - Steven Dann will answer you honestly

Steven Dann (the retailer) gets its refreshingly candid approach to fashion from Steven Dann (the founder). “I was that eight-year-old whose dad was getting dressed to go to work, and he would put on a suit and tie, and I would say, ‘That tie doesn't match that suit. You need to change your tie,’” Dann says.

Telling a customer that a pair of jeans they love isn’t actually working for them might seem like the opposite of what any clothing store would do.

But at Steven Dann, the retail experience isn’t just about getting a quick sale. It’s about forging lasting relationships with customers; you can only get those relationships if you’ve built trust over time.

In Steven Dann stores, building that trust often begins before a customer has even made a purchase. “It happens all the time. We’ll be with a customer and tell them to take it off even though they love it,” says Dann. “Because if they truly don't look good, no one else will tell them.”

It might be a little disheartening at the moment, but that candor ultimately results in a customer finding something they truly look great in — and that they can enjoy for years to come.

This approach is about more than just saving an individual customer from a fashion faux pas. For Dann, honesty between retailer and customer is about finding and appreciating authentic beauty — and seeing that beauty spark a real connection.

“We live in such a superficial world where everyone's like, ‘Oh, you look so beautiful. You look great,’” he says. “But when you genuinely look great, the compliment is actual and authentic versus superficial. The most important thing is for them to really be grateful that they were working with us.”

Of course, for this approach to work, the sales representatives need to be knowledgeable and invested in their work—you wouldn’t try on a shirt in a supermarket and ask a cashier for fashion advice.

Fortunately, the sales staff at Steven Dann stores are fashion-forward people with a deep understanding of the retailer’s overall ethos. Helping a customer find the next perfect piece is a two-step process.

First, Steven Dann personally curates the pieces each retail store will offer. From there, sales representatives work with customers to help them decide on a purchase. It’s a strategy that continues to win customers’ loyalty.

Customers can shop all Steven Dann has to offer online, but the in-store experience is where the magic happens.

The brand is hoping to expand and enhance that magic with a members-only shopping experience launching in fall 2024. It’s an event that’s sure to bolster the loyalty of Steven Dann’s long-time clientele — and maybe win over some new fashionistas, too.


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