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Religion has an impact on fashion

Hugo Brito
Altar’d State is a religious-themed fashion store located at the Foutains at Farah shopping mall in east El Paso.

Altar’d State, a religious-themed fashion store, opened their doors at the Fountains at Farah in November 2013.

Altar’d State is known for selling clothing and accessories in a religious environment and providing customers the opportunity to pray in their dressing rooms.  Religious memorabilia and décor are displayed around the store.

The store’s motto is “fashion focused, cause motivated.” The play on words in their name, Altar’d State, alludes to both their purpose and cause. The stores are famous for allowing their customers to drop off prayers for others.

The first Altar’d State store opened in Knoxville, Tennessee in November 2009 as a Christian retail store and café. The store has since adopted fashion statement-making clothing and has been expanded to more than 30 stores nationally. The store is co-owned by Brian Mason and Aaron Walters, who opened the store with the aim of spreading their religious beliefs.

Natalie Granillo, manager at the Fountains at Farah location, said their ultimate goal is to have their customers feel transformed.

“It stands for when our guests come into our store and are faith-based and accept Jesus,” Granillo said. “You transform your life into someone positive.”

Although the store is religion based, Granillo believes their ultimate goal does not completely revolve around religion and accepting Jesus.

“We want for our guests to come in and be inspired to feel beautiful,” Granillo said. “We want to alter them into someone better, whether it’s faith-based or not.”

Altar’d State has been open in El Paso for a little over a year, and Granillo said it has fared well so far.

“I think it’s been great for El Paso,” Granillo said. “El Paso needed the change and inspiration and culture.”

They sell primarily women’s clothing, including shoes, dresses, tops and sweaters. The prices range from $15 to $90.

“Our clothes are very selective and hard to find in El Paso,” Granillo said. “Every customer that comes in, we literally hear them say ‘wow.’”

Naomi Vela, freshman business major and employee at Altar’d State, said they receive a wide range of customers every day.

“They range from juniors to 60 or 70 year olds,” Vela said. “I come in contact with a lot of religious people who come in after church and have a unique style.”

Granillo hopes the store will become a high-volume store.

“In other words, sell more and give back to El Paso,” Granillo said.

Along with being religion based and focused on inspiring their customers, a big part of Altar’d State’s mission is to give back to its community through sponsorships and donating to charities.

“Every Monday, 10 percent is donated to charities,” Granillo said. “That’s why we want to expand and sell more, so we can give back more.”

Kayla Howarth, junior communication major, said the store has a good selection that caters to more than one specific style. As for its religious presence, Howarth does not believe the store and its employees are overbearing about it.

“They seem to use their beliefs in a constructive way by donating to those with less and allowing people to submit their prayers, as opposed to being hateful  those who don’t conform to their religion,” Howarth said. “It creates a much more welcoming environment.”

Altar’d State is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, call 915-307-3588.

Julia Hettiger can be reached at [email protected].

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Religion has an impact on fashion