Donned in the finest designer clothes and accessories, Pierce Morgan looks like he should be sitting front row at New York Fashion week. But for the young entrepreneur, high fashion and luxury go wherever he goes whether it’s running errands to his classes as a fashion merchandising major at Kent State or to running his luxury collection curation and restoration business, Chicologie. For the month of May, Morgan will be bringing his exquisite style to Mitchell Sotka in Rocky River for Chicologie’s fifth anniversary collection.
“My favorite things about this collection are some of my favorite things about Mitchell and his store,” Morgan said. “This collection is pretty eclectic. But the reason it all fits together is because everything is unique and exciting. And for me, anytime I go into Mitchell's, I see so many different styles, ideas, concepts and colors that it's eclectic, but in the best possible version of the word.”
Morgan, a Brookside High School graduate, discovered his love for fashion in his adolescence after transferring from the Lorain city school system to Sheffield. He explained how anxious he was as the new kid in middle school, just trying to blend into the crowd.
“I was such a ‘Don't talk to me. I don't want anybody to look at me.’ kid” he explained. “But one day, I thought if I was a little bit more confident, or at least looked the part, I could eventually be that person. And when I started really trying, I finally felt comfortable.”
It was during his journey to “look the part” that Morgan discovered luxury completely by mistake. Most people have the initial sticker shock that comes from browsing designer products, but for Morgan the question was why?
“I really wanted to know,” Morgan said. “Like seriously, why are these shoes $900? I started researching. Who is this person? How did they make that? Why is it so much? I learned about the designer’s backstories, all the different factories and craftsmen and it all just came together.”
Morgan’s love of fashion and luxury led him to start his company Chicologie his senior year of high school before he headed off to the Kent State fashion program in the fall. Although Morgan serves as the company’s founder and creative director, he explained that Chicologie is definitely not a one-man show.
“I don't have any employees, but I'm lucky enough to have some friends who are always there to help and just want to support me. Mainly, my marketing specialist slash best friend Krissi Romanini, who designed my whole website, emails, everything I don’t know how to do. She’s always there to take over and make things look pretty,” he said.
Since the company’s inception, Morgan has authenticated hundreds of designer bags, worked with clients to appraise and restore their luxury goods and carefully curate collections for trunk shows. He also enjoys networking with fellow luxury/vintage connoisseurs at shows. It was through one of these events, a trunk show with Recollection vintage clothing, that Morgan met Sotka in February 2020.
“He's just such a ball of energy,” Sotka said of Morgan. “He's such a fascinating young person: easy to engage with and exceptionally well dressed. We’re hosting Pierce’s collection at our store because we’re really a store that's all about good design. And good design is not only about what you put in your home, but what you can put on your body.”
Sotka explained that one of the major players in bringing the collection to the story was Mitchell Sotka marketing specialist Brittney Callahan. He continued to say how wonderful it was to see two brillant, younger people taking the wheel on this event and in an industry that notoriously has a more mature crowd.
Callahan explained her own excitement about the collection and how Pierce is such a fine example for other young adults who are interested in luxury and antique goods.
“It's kind of a niche (luxury goods amongst young adults), especially here in Cleveland,” she said. “But he’s bringing his knowledge and connections from Kent up here and showing that young people can invest in passion and a lasting personal collection. To invest in a piece of wearable art for your wardrobe that is well-crafted and brings you joy. Although it’s not big here yet, I think if it’s continually present here, then in time, it will grow.”
What makes this particular collection unique is not only his fine fashion sense, Sotka explained, but that many of the pieces have personally been restored by Morgan as well.
“This is almost 60 years old. It's lived a long, full life,” Morgan said of one of the pieces to be shown in the collection. “So the idea (with restoration) is what can I do to make it better? I do what I need to to make pretty again, structurally sound if that’s the issue. But it doesn't come out brand new. That is never my goal. That character, that history, belongs to that piece and I would never want to take it away.”
The history behind each piece lies in the name of Chicologie: Chic, “fashion,” and ology, “the study of.” Pierce finds joy in educating clients and attendees about the facts and history behind the products he’s curated. He researches to find the one thing that makes a specific piece unique whether it’s the designer, material, craftsmanship or cultural or historical significance.
“With Mitchell and everything that he puts in his store, it’s about the longevity of a piece, the history of it, the careful attention to detail that exists in each piece that ends up here,” Callahan explained. “Pierce does the same thing with his clothing and this collection.”
Chicologie’s fifth anniversary collection will be shown at Mitchell Sotka from May 1-29. Sotka and Callahan will be on hand to walk clients through the collection. Morgan is currently in between Lorain and Kent as he finishes school but plans to be in the store as often as possible to answer questions. For those who want to speak with him personally about his collection, he suggests calling the store before making the trip. Morgan is eager to meet those curious about luxury and to showcase this collection he’s been carefully curating on for months. Sotka said that Morgan’s passion and fine attention to detail is yet another added bonus of hosting the collection.
“We try to have tangent things happen in this space, as if it's an educational platform,” Sotka said. “This collection is a great opportunity for people to come in and experience fashion in a format that is not traditional. This gives people an opportunity for a full experience: to see a piece of Chanel, touch it and look at it up close to see the detail; to experience the store, myself and the staff; and of course to experience Pierce’s vibrance, positivity and passion for this collection.”
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