TJ Callaway, CEO, and founder of Onward Reserve, is bringing his exclusive men’s lifestyle clothing brand to Charleston.
Currently partnered with thirty difference independent retailers, Onward Reserve adds another distinguished collaborator to their list as they team up with King Street’s iconic Southern storefront M. Dumas and Sons.
Callaway and his team visited the store last weekend to chat up Charlestonians and celebrate their debut at the historic retailer.
Along with its numerous retail partnerships, Onward Reserve boasts seven autonomous stores scattered throughout the Southeast.
Originating as an online retailer in late 2011, the first brick-and-mortar store opened in Athens, GA in September of 2012. Since its launch, Onward Reserve has spread to several other cities in Georgia—including Atlanta—through Chattanooga, TN, across Charlotte, NC, and has even reached into Washington D.C. Although the brand is characterized as a Southern lifestyle line, Callaway insists that it does not have to be distinctly Southern—many of his friends from up North brandish a similar style.
Uniquely designed by Callaway, his creative director Virginia Johnson and their in-house design team, the line is fashioned for men with an adventurous spirit and an affinity for outdoor hobbies. “Our whole brand is based around somebody who likes to dip their toes in a lot of different areas—like a cultural renaissance,” says Callaway. “There are many brands that are so specific on the fact that they’re a hunting brand, or a fishing brand, or a golf brand. I’m for that guy who wants to do a little bit of everything.”
Born and raised in Thomasville, GA, Callaway aims to keep the brand close to his roots. Since many of his fondest memories and experiences have transpired in the Southeast, he does often let the region influence his designs.
“Our tagline is ‘Live Authentically’ because I feel like there are so many fashion brands trying to create something out of thin air just to sell apparel, and it’s just not real,” says Callaway. “Everything we do is based on what I like, where I’ve grown up, what I’ve seen and what I’ve done, and so yeah, a lot of those experiences have happened in the southeast.”
Each seasonal line and catalog are inspired by a specific place—this fall collection centers around Athens, GA and the spring catalog will feature the Florida Keys. Callaway plans to head back to his hometown for the fall 2017 line to explore the history of the area and the company’s deep connection with it. To Callaway, the most important aspect of the brand is that it is genuine, “I think the authenticity of it all really resonates with people.
As long as we can stay authentic, then it works. If we’re designing things that we want to wear, we’re staying with styles without trying to ride out trends.” So, Charlestonians when you’re scrambling for those last minute Christmas gifts for the rugged outdoorsman in your family, be sure to pop into M. Dumas and Sons and check out Onward Reserve.