Constructed between 1650 and 1735, The King’s Highway along the East Coast of the United States was built by order of King Charles II of England to connect the American colonies—from Boston, Massachusetts to Charleston, South Carolina. The road was often called the Old Kings Highway or Old Kings Road, and parts of it still exist today—although disconnected and overshadowed by progress.
King Street in Hampton was a segment of it, as was Kings Highway in Suffolk. U.S. Route 17 through Virginia has many stretches that follow the old route. What better name then, for a new apparel store located in historic Phoebus that celebrates travel and adventure and connects with a thoroughfare used by America’s original trailblazers?
“We chose the name Old Kings Road because it has a good ring to it, but also because we’re history buffs,” explains Brian Patrick, who co-owns the store with his partner Brandy Collins. “The Old Kings Road was the first real long-travel road constructed in America. We wanted our brand to have a deep connection to Virginia history and the Old Kings Road had so many stops in Virginia, including Suffolk, Norfolk, Hampton, Yorktown, Williamsburg, King William, Bowling Green, Fredericksburg and Alexandria. So, it felt appropriate.”
Patrick and Collins—who both grew up in Coastal Virginia—are currently working on their own brand of apparel and goods that will bear the Old Kings Road name. Their hope is to create an iconic brand that brings back the nostalgia of Americana and the people who shaped the history of the United States.
Until that brand launches, they are offering a line of new and vintage goods and well-curated apparel for “the gentleman, the outlaw, and the adventurer.” Visitors to their shop located at 7 N. Mallory Street in the Phoebus section of Hampton will find everything from button-down shirts and jackets to t-shirts, fatigues, and leather goods—all made in America.
Think brands like Grifter Company gloves from Charleston, South Carolina; Tobacco Motor Wear from Los Angeles, California; Prison Blues from Pendleton, Oregon; Oshkosh from Oshkosh, Wisconsin; L.C. King from Bristol, Tennessee; Vanson Leather from Fall River, Massachusetts; JANE Moto from Brooklyn, New York; Imogene + Willie from Nashville, Tennessee; and Hero MotoCorp out of Malibu, California.
If the product line sounds like it caters to bikers, your assumption would be only partly correct. “If you know what The Race of Gentlemen and things like that are, that’s the aesthetic we go for,” says Patrick. “The Ace Café London vibe from the 1960s, café racers and things like that are where the brand leans.”
The store in Phoebus is currently only open on the weekends, opening at noon Friday through Sunday, but Collins is quick to point out that they sell items from their website as well as their storefront.
“With us currently selling vintage goods, of lot of what we have is one of one,” she says. “So, if you see something and you like something, if you sit on it and don’t purchase it, the odds are good that you could come back, and it’s gone. With us being able to offer access online, it means customers can look to see what we have, purchase it any time during the week, and then come pick it up for free on the weekend when the store is open.”
Another point of order that Patrick and Collins want customers to know is that the goods they offer are not gender specific.
“Although our brand can appear at first glance to be for men due to its more masculine tone, we are actually a brand for everyone,” says Patrick. “Several of our repeat customers are women. In fact, because our brand is intended to be for everyone, we intentionally curate goods that service an often-underrepresented part of the gender spectrum in terms of boutique-type shopping experiences.” Learn more at OldKingsRoad.co.