Miles Clothing has been a fixture in the Broward County gay scene for the past 35 years. The store originally opened on Las Olas Boulevard in the downtown area, where it stayed for 16 years. Its current location is right on the “Village Square,” adjacent to Wilton Drive at 2300 NE 7th Avenue in Wilton Manors.
Sadly, after 35 years, the store is closing. It looks like the end of August will be when the doors are locked for the final time. The store is still well-stocked, having just taken a new shipment this month, so if you are looking for some good going-out-of-business sales, you will find discounts on a wide variety of items.
I spoke with owner Jerry Miles about the last 35 years and what’s next for him after the store’s doors close for the final time.
Tell us about the merchandise you have on sale, and is it discounted?
For 35 years, we’ve mainly been known for swimwear, and for gay pride down here in Wilton Manors, we will be reducing the price on swimwear to $20 per suit. As for the rest of the merchandise, it will be discounted at 35% off the regular ticket price, except for underwear, it will be priced at $10 each.
Out of all the things that have happened to you and the store over the last 35 years, what sticks out in your mind as your favorite thing?
My favorite has to be all of the young gay people who came with their parents when we were still based on Las Olas Boulevard. When they became adults and continued to shop at my store, they would come up to me and thank me because they said they felt like my store was a welcoming and safe place, and that was something they needed at that time.
What’s next for you after the end of August?
I’m going to research things for a year and come up with some new projects, whether it be in retail or something else. I’m 55 years old, and I think things worked out really well for me in life, having the store for 35 years and being 55 now. I don’t want to retire; I never considered that. I really want to see what my next creative challenge is.
Miles Clothing is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Call (954) 565-8096 for more information.