In 1942 alumnus Maurice Julian opened a men's clothing store on Franklin Street to cater to the cadets in the U.S. Navy pre-flight school on campus. After the war Julian's College Shop catered to students and faculty in an era when most of the people on the still predominantly male campus wore a suit and tie every day. At the time, the 100 block of Franklin Street had nine men's stores, including Varley's, Town and Campus, and Milton's Clothing Cupboard, owned by Maurice Julian's brother, Milton. As times and fashion changed, the other stores gradually closed, leaving Julian's as the last of the old-school menswear stores on Franklin Street. After Maurice Julian's death in 1993, the business was inherited by his children. Originally located at 140 East Franklin Street, near the Carolina Coffee Shop, the business moved across the street to 135 East Franklin in 2007.
The influence of Julian's has extended well beyond the store largely through the work of Maurice Julian's son, Alexander, who went on to become a successful fashion designer and was known as a master colorist. The university has called on Alexander Julian, also an alumnus, at least twice to help revitalize the UNC style: in 1993, by redesigning the men's basketball team uniforms (he added the signature argyle to the uniforms), and in 2010, when he redesigned the university's graduation gowns. After many years of lamenting that the gowns were more turquoise than true Carolina blue, Julian was given the task of redesigning them. The new, "true blue" gowns were first worn at the 2011 commencement. One of the most prominent of Julian's regular customers is probably UNC—Chapel Hill basketball coach Roy Williams. After the Tar Heels won the national championship in 2005, Coach Williams joked, "I owe it all to my lucky Alexander Julian suit and tie."
Date Established: 1942
Date Range: 1942 – Present