Carroll & Co – An End Of An Era For Hollywood’s Leading Men


What did Cary Grant, Clark Gable, and Steve McQueen have in common? Besides being Hollywood’s top leading men of the silver screen, they were all clients of Carroll & Co. Known for creating the legendary styling of Hollywood’s elite, the iconic menswear store based in Beverly Hills has offered luxury fashion and accessories for over seventy years, creating an era rich in sartorial history and will soon be closing.

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Founded in 1949 by Richard Carroll—a former Warner Bros. publicist— Carroll & Co. started in a humble showroom on the second floor of a medical building in Beverly Hills. After anchoring the corner of Rodeo Dr. and Santa Monica Blvd for 43 years, Carroll purchased the building Carroll & Co., currently occupies on Canon Drive in the heart of Beverly Hills. The esteemed retailer has had an unmatched run with its sophistication and personalized service and has continued to be a local meet and greet for those in the entertainment and fashion industries. Over the past seventy years, Carroll & Co. has dressed a long list of notable men including Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Steve McQueen, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck, Rock Hudson, Paul Newman, Jack Lemmon, Gene Kelly and Presidents Jimmy Carter and Dwight Eisenhower among many others.

Always an elegant man and impeccably dressed, Richard Carroll made a number of Hollywood contacts in his years as a publicist which was the foundation for starting his clothing business. The retailer’s popularity in Hollywood continued with the launch of a studio division, which outfitted popular television shows, from The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Ray Donovan. Richard Carroll’s son John, now President, of Carol & Co., states, “Anybody that you can think of who has a long history in Hollywood, one way or another, has worn something from Carroll & Co.

Those that worked in the movie industry took notice of the carefully crafted and conservative style found in Carroll & Co.’s professional and casual attire and adopted it as its screen style look. The sweaters, the V-necks, the leading men, all became the signature style of Carroll & Co. The movies industry was it’s driving force. This look was developed from multiple trips Richard Carroll made to Europe. “My father went to Scotland. He went to England. He traveled to Italy, and this was in the 1950’s, and that was not an easy trip back then. If you wanted to find fabrications, if you wanted to find the quality people, the knitters, they didn’t have offices in London. You would have to go to them,” states John Carroll.

As retail continues to go through unprecedented changes, Richard Carroll’s son John, now President, feels the time is right for a change, including leasing the building, which the Carroll family has owned for over twenty years. John recently shared the news in a heartfelt letter to his customers.

“Over the years, my mother has received weekly calls and letters from real estate people interested in either purchasing or leasing our space. She has always politely declined. In recent months, my family and I sat down together and after lengthy and arduous discussions, we realized we had been offered opportunities that were too good to ignore. We decided that the best avenue for now and for the future of our family would be to lease out our space on Canon Drive.”

John Carroll, a “student” of the store since age 11, presented many opportunities for growth throughout the years—including the introduction of sportswear and custom/made-to-measure services for which the store is still known.

John plans to continue in the custom/made-to-measure business after the store closes. “It’s become the biggest growth area of our business,” John explains. “I’m looking forward to continuing on with the Carroll name in this future endeavor.”

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By Denise Weaver

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