Blank Canvas: Fashion by Design

A former architect and interior designer open Blank Canvas, a new men’s and women’s boutique in South End



Harold Johnson and Nicole Blackmon opened Blank Canvas in September.

Logan Cyrus

When native Charlotteans Harold Jordan and Nicole Blackmon met working at a local architecture firm, they never imagined they would open a clothing boutique together. But in September, the design duo did just that. Blank Canvas, located in South End just a few steps away from the East/West light rail stop, focuses on rare fashion lines and Carolina-based brands.

Johnson and Blackmon got their start in the design field as an architect and interior designer, respectively, and say that the transition into the fashion industry is natural. Johnson says Blank Canvas has allowed both he and Blackmon to express their individuality. The shop’s tagline, “Be the Cool,” is spelled out in recycled fabric on the wall, while vintage wooden crates and a classic Singer sewing machine flesh out the look. The pair completed all of the design work, along with the merchandising, over the past eight months.

Their shop stocks a stylish array of hard-to-find items, including its own brand of bowties and pocket squares, Dale Patrick hats, and handbags from Columbia, S.C. designer NANA by Sally. Johnson and Blackmon say they hope that Charlotte residents will consider stopping by Blank Canvas before heading to Atlanta or New York for unique items. Prices range from $9 for a lapel pin up to $400.

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