You can click a button and the Amazon Prime fairies will drop a new sweater on your doormat tomorrow. But there’s something special about driving home with a shopping bag full of new clothes riding shotgun — especially when they’ve been picked by a professional stylist like Mark Pred, who has worked at Halls since 2004. Pred has dressed some of Kansas City’s most famous athletes — a gentleman never reveals whom — after moving here from Omaha, where he ran his own specialty men’s store, Montage, for seventeen years.
How’d you get into fashion? My dad and my grandfather both owned clothing stores, so I grew up with it. After I went to college at Arizona State, I worked at Ralph Lauren stores in Phoenix, Denver and Aspen. At that time, Ralph Lauren was, like, the guy.
What brought you to Kansas City? My brother lived here. I moved from Omaha, where I owned a clothing store. Moving here wasn’t a mid-life crisis. It was more like, “What can I do to redefine myself?” I was recruited by Halls when they were at the Plaza, and I felt I was working on Rodeo Drive.
How was working at Ralph Lauren different from working at Halls? Ralph Lauren was one brand, therefore one lifestyle. I like the assortment at Halls, and stores like us are now so unique in the United States. It’s all about building relationships. You have to be patient. People come and go. You have customers move, you have customers die. I had a customer go to jail a couple years ago.
What are men looking for when they come into the store? I think they’re looking for advice and trust. It’s like if I was going to buy electronics, I’d go to someone who specializes in that.
Where do you turn to for fashion advice yourself? I love magazines. My favorite men’s lifestyle one is The Rake. It’s socially conscious and tells stories about companies and designers. The good ones are all about family and culture — it’s more than just a name stamp.
When you’re not working, what are you doing? Tennis is my drug of choice. Also, every summer I go to Aspen for ten days. Aspen is kind of my happy place.
Mark Pred’s Favorites:
Rag & Bone Leather Jacket
“If I’m not in my suit and tie, I’m in a motorcycle jacket and jeans.”
“This I bought for myself. It’s from Tivol.”
“It’s from a store called Kemo Sabe in Aspen. My girlfriend gave it to me and it’s my favorite gift.”