Shaias Homewood

Homewood, Alabama

Shaia’s is a men’s wear retailer in the finest sense of the tradition. Building on a history of success since 1922, the Shaia family does not take an expansion of their Downtown Homewood store lightly. The challenge from Ken Shaia- design a new space with a separate streetscape identity.

Allow it to highlight a new brand to attract younger clientele but make sure it works with the classic elegant feel the current store presents – i.e. don’t mess up the good thing we have going.

How did we respond? With one large simple limestone arched opening filled by a reclaimed steel storefront. This large opening leads you into a light open airy one-room retail space that was designed by omission. Achieved through selective removal of 80 years worth of past additions and repairs.

Exterior- The large exterior arched opening helps to create an identity among the competing retail storefronts that fill downtown Homewood. The arch harkens a timeless inviting form known for thousands of years. Limestone and steel speak to the strength, elegance, and endurance of the family-owned haberdashery.

Interior – In collaboration with the ever-elegant and classy Fonda Shaia, we peeled layers to reveal the honest structure of the room. Then added a second layer of steel widows at the rear of the space that allows you to see and hear the tailor shop in action. The variety of materials were all brought together with one color finish throughout to allow the clothing to be the art within the room.

Project Type

Commercial & Mixed Use

Year Built



2013 AIA Birmingham Merit Award – Adaptive Reuse/Renovation