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Online suspender business finds gold in Alaska clientele

Katie Medred
Sara Jorgensen, engineer. May 31, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Ellen Arvold, owner, and Taylor Lee, store manager, Second Run. May 31, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
10-year-old Rowan Wiese, tree climber, Tap Root. May 31, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Lyndsey Kleppin, geologist and retired birthday party clown. May 31, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Ashley Munson, "Supreme Princess of Purchasing" at Her Tern Boutique. May 31, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Charles Perry, Nome gold dredger. May 31, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Kris Swanson, app developer & renaissance man. May 31, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Emily Lanzel, dentist. May 31, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
James Eskridge, bouncer at Tap Root. May 31, 2012
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Caz Tomaszewski, server at Tap Root. May 31, 2012
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Brian Adams, photographer. May 31, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Sarah Yates, server at Tap Root. May 31, 2012
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Brett Renfro, "Style Virtuoso" at Her Tern Boutique. May 31, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Phillip Blanchett, musician at Pamyua. May 31, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Valori Gianni, assistant manager, Blush Boutique. May 31, 2012
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Rebecca Mohlman, proprietor, Tap Root. May 31, 2012
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Colleen Cronin, account supervisor at Nerland Agency. May 31, 2012
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Travis Zuber, "adult beverage enthusiast," Tap Root. May 31, 2012
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Karen King, President and CEO, Nerland Agency. May 31, 2012
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Adrian Dangeli, Swiss cabinet maker. May 31, 2012
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Alonna Pfeiger, account supervisor, left, and Roland Adams, senior art director, Nerland Agency. May 31, 2012
Loren Holmes photo

Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, has been accused of being the worst dressed city in the nation, but it's also been named among the hippest. The two concepts seem at odds, but on occasion they're one in the same.

Take, for example, the suspender, an accessory that used to be associated with nerds like TV's Steven Urkel, but is now a legitimate fashion statement. According to the Tucson Citizen, the suspender's biggest fans may very well reside in Anchorage.

Suspender businessman Sal Herman, an Israeli immigrant now living in the states, created his first Internet based store in 1997. By 1998, Herman's store moved into the wholesale business, and by this year Herman's Hold-Up Suspenders Co. was supplying suspenders to 2,400 stores nationwide. The Tucson Citizen writes:

Stallone’s, a men’s store in Anchorage, Alaska ... according to Herman’s records, sells more suspenders than most of the hardware, sporting goods and clothing stores stocking them.

Mindy Gustin, a sales associate at Stallone's Anchorage store, told the Citizen she sells a pair a day, adding:

I think a lot of it has to do with our utilitarian perspective, living in Alaska. We are not a fashion forward kind of state. Most of our guys wear flannels and jeans.

Strangely enough, flannels and jeans are now fashion forward, just ask Portland.

Read more about Herman's Hold-Up Suspenders Co. and about fashion in Alaska.