As the 1940s gave way to the optimism of the 1950s, a family settled into their home in a small Tennessee town. The sign out front read CD Mobley’s, a mercantile selling the usual wares, “overalls and moon pies” in the words of CD. A quick walk through the home and one found themselves next to the mercantile counter as if primed for purchase.
The year 1955 brought with it a proposition. CD was speaking to a neighbor who spoke of a brother-in-law set to come into town from Fulton, Mississippi. The owner of a local department store on the lookout for a new way of life, he was on his way to town with more than a moonpie in mind.
Weeks later, the Mobleys found themselves in Fulton, Mississippi with keys to the businessman’s home and department store. They had swapped keys and lives, with Mobley as the new owner of a home and shop in a small town in Mississippi and the neighbor’s brother-in-law with the Mobley mercantile and home back in Tennessee. No exchange of money or inventory needed.
The Mobleys ran what was known as Mobley’s in Fulton, starting with the initial inventory and upgrading merchandise over time. The shop in Fulton was a mere 15 miles from the “big city” of Tupelo and a junior college of roughly 3000 students. An opening at a local mall in the area provided the perfect storefront for the next Mobley shop, The Varsity Shop. Opened in 1969, CD ran the Varsity Shop while his wife handled Mobley’s.
At this time, one of the Mobley sons was at Ole Miss finishing a degree. After graduation, he found his way back to the family in Fulton with a vision of a third location. After traveling throughout the neighboring areas, he saw promise in the town of Tuscaloosa, and in the fall of 1971, the first Tuscaloosa location was opened.
In December, the other Mobley son, Chris, was asked to come help for the holidays. Chris was studying at the local junior college with plans to go to Ole Miss after his first academic year was completed. Chris came down to help at the Tuscaloosa location and he never left.
In 1977, Chris’s brother convinced CD to try the Birmingham market. That year, The Varsity Shop, later known as Mobley & Sons, was opened by Chris’s brother in Crestline Village. The shop was such a success that CD and his wife closed the store in Fulton to help with the Crestline Village shop. Chris’s mother opened Canterbury Clothiers in Crestline Village shortly thereafter.
53 years from Chris’s first time in Tuscaloosa, and he has been there ever since. Running Mobley Clothier, he continues the Mobley legacy through his high-end men’s clothing shop on McFarland Boulevard North. His son, Christopher, has followed in his footsteps and has opened his own store, Christopher Mobley, on University Boulevard.
Drawing on the impressive legacy of his father and grandfather, Christopher has created an incredible mid-luxury brand to suit a variety of consumers. The Christopher Mobley logo is an ode to this legacy with a Roman numeral three crossing through an M to symbolize the third generation.
Following the success of his first Tide pullover worn by Nick Saban in a now-viral clip, Christopher has honed in on his target market. With clear success in the world of university apparel, Christopher Mobley has opened a second location in Athens, Georgia where the store will serve the students and visitors of the University of Georgia.