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Changing With The Fashions- The Anthony Brothers

The height of high-society fashion for men 100 years ago was the “Poinciana Uniform” – a navy sport coat, white pants, white shoes and a straw boater.
The outfit, still in style, was popularized by the Anthony brothers, who opened their first store in West Palm Beach in 1895 and also had a store in Henry Flagler’s Royal Poinciana Hotel.
A.P. “Gus” Anthony was a born merchant, his daughter, Roslyn Anthony Anderson, recalled in 1994. “When his mother sent him to the store for black thread and the store didn’t have any, he came back with brown thread. He knew how to solve a problem.”
When his first West Palm Beach store – a jewelry business – went belly up after the 1895 freeze, Gus decided he’d never sell frivolous things again, just life’s necessities, such as clothing. He started Anthony’s department store with his older brother, J. Rembert, that year. Younger brother, Emile D., took over in 1914, and he ran 12 stores during the boom years.
He passed the business on to his sons. One of them, Carl, also started Anthony’s Groves. Anthony’s president now is Pope Anthony, son of M. Pope (“Ham”) Anthony and grandson of Emile. They have 10 stores from Vero Beach to Boynton Beach and west to Naples.
Today’s customer: the over-50 woman who’s more interested in practicality than high society.

Posted in Our Century December 19, 1999 at 3:50 pm.

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