Mufaddal Dawoodbhoy wants to bring the record-store vibe back.
And he’s doing it with fashion.
“When we started out, we wanted to make a place where people can come and talk about music,” said Dawoodbhoy, 28, whose family owns the clothing store Dress Code. “We started out in an era where record stores started to fade away and that whole record-store environment is no more. I am trying to bring that back.”
Dawoodbhoy and his brothers, Murtza and Mustafa, opened Dress Code in 2006 after moving from Los Angeles in 2005.
The store, at 2636 E. Broadway, features duds inspired by music from across generations and genres.
“It could look like distressed jeans with an old-school rock shirt, it could look like some raw, slim-fit khakis with a science-based, like Imaginary Foundation, T-shirt with an over shirt over it, it could be a lot of things,” said Dawoodbhoy about the music-inspired fashion. “You can’t forget about the Chuck Taylors and the Vans.”
Dawoodbhoy believes that the locally owned clothing store can bring back the culture of record stores by allowing music lovers from all generations to come in to the store and share their love of music.
The store carries more than 48 brands in the store, and does about 90 percent of its sales online. Dawoodbhoy thinks the larger variety allows Dress Code to reflect on how people listen to music today.
“In the last few years, the way the music industry has changed and how music is distributed, it makes listening and discovering new music so easy,” he said. “So when kids start listening, they are not as closed as much as they were before, they are exploring a lot more. They will listen to rap. They will listen to rock. They listen to every genre.”
Dress Code aims to mix these different genres and generations of music-driven fashion and create something unique.
“Most stores focus on one thing,” said Dawoodbhoy. “Over here, we feel skate and music blend very well. We believe hip-hop and rock blend really well. Someone who skates also likes Lil Wayne. Someone who skates also likes Avenged Sevenfold. If you are focusing just on skating, it doesn’t make sense. Music just brings everything together.”
Music also is a clue to what his customers want.
“I have customers coming in every Saturday,” he said. “One of the first things we ask customers when they are looking for a T-shirt is what kind of music they listen to. So we can recommend them, not only T-shirts that we have with that band, but also T-shirts that they may like just from the top of our head. If they like Metallica they may like Megadeth shirts.”
The music theme makes sense for the family. The brothers have always been close, and music was a common bond.
“We always shared music taste and we also shared the same fashion taste, so it just made sense to make something like this,” said Dawoodbhoy. “It takes a family to make something like this.”
With their love for music and fashion, the Dawoodbhoy family believes that music-driven fashion is something that Tucson has never seen before.
“We mix brands, we mix music with brands, we mix different genres and (people) haven’t seen anything like this, not even in L.A.,” he said. “We have something that is unique, not only in Tucson, but nationwide.”