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A Fashion King Heads South

After many years in Manhattan, Jay McLaughlin is settling in Vero Beach.

Jay and Joan McLaughlin enjoy the “beachy” feel of their Vero Beach home.

Jay and Joan McLaughlin enjoy the “beachy” feel of their Vero Beach home.

 A press release from J. McLaughlin, a retailer of stylish clothing for women and men, sums up the stores’ appeal thusly: “Based in New York, J. McLaughlin has made homes in 40 chic locales nationwide, serving up classic clothes with an original twist.… It’s the Hamptons with a sense of humor, New Canaan with nerve, Palm Beach with passion and Charlotte with charm.”

To this we might add, “and Vero Beach with verve,” seeing that our own community – no stranger to chic, humor and charm – not only boasts a J. McLaughlin store on Ocean Drive, but can now claim the company’s co-founder, Jay McLaughlin, as a resident.

When I met Jay in early December, he was dressed for Vero Beach’s mid-’80s temperature in an open-necked, light blue striped polo shirt, faded red shorts and tan deck shoes. He was here visiting his newly acquired townhouse in The Moorings to oversee the final stage of its redecoration. “We’re about 75 percent there,” he says. By “there” he means Christmas Eve, when Jay, his wife, Joan, and their three grown children, Julia, John and Chris, will enjoy their new home together for the first time.

Read the entire article in the March 2010 issue