The gossip on Southern Charm varies from episode to episode, season to season, but nobody ever speaks negatively about the go-to store Gwynn’s of Mt. Pleasant, where everyone seems to get their special occasion wear. Fans know that Kathryn Dennis is a Gwynn’s employee, as we watched the painful interview this season when she chatted with Madison Simon and her father, owner Marshall Simon.
On part one of the Southern Charm reunion, we learned that both Cameran Eubanks and Chelsea Meissner had also worked at Gwynn’s, and so long before the popular Bravo show came to be, there was a relationship established between the cast and the Simon family after applying for the job as a personal shopper.
Madison Simon, the third generation head of Gwynn’s, was seen this season on Southern Charm helping out Patricia Altschul when she brought Ashley Jacobs to the store for a makeover, and then again at Patricia’s Winter Ball where Simon was the ultimate lady in red, as seen on Instagram.
Simon was happy to chat about her continued connection to the show and the cast and says she always tried to personally be on hand for fashion emergencies.
Gwynn’s has been known for bringing designers (like Marchesa) to Charleston that can’t be found at other stores for over 50 years.
“Gwynn’s was founded in 1967. We are a Charleston staple because for over 50 years we have been selling much more than just pretty clothes. We also sell a uniquely luxurious experience. Our goal is to assist our men and women in building a confident personal image through their wardrobe and we provide them with a unique experience while doing so. Gwynn is my grandmother, Marshall is my dad, and I am the 3rd generation, no pressure at all.”
Madison says that she has dressed and styled every woman on the show, and many of the men.
“I believe we have styled every girl on the show and some of the guys. Over the past year, we have seen or styled Kathryn, Cameran, Patricia, Naomie, Wilson, Chelsea, Craig, Thomas, and Ashley in store.”
She adds that Cameran was the head of the cosmetics department for four years, and Chelsea worked in the women’s department for a year. Kathryn Dennis is still an employee of Gwynn’s, but still gets Madison’s input on what she wears.
“Kathryn and I FaceTime often when she is getting ready. She has such great style and is not afraid to be bold, so she’s a lot of fun to work with.”
Gwynn’s is a staple of Charleston Fashion Week, and the Southern Charm ladies, in particular, can be depended upon to lend their support.
“I believe we saw almost everyone in the Gwynn’s VIP tent at Charleston Fashion Week this year, which is probably our biggest annual event. It’s the place to be during fashion week and they always come to support. This past year we also hosted our 50th-anniversary party, and we had a ton of support from our friends. Kathryn was extremely valuable and hands-on with us for both events, and Naomie and Cameran are always so supportive when it comes to our events.”
While the current season of Southern Charm has been drama-filled, Madison Simon was the consummate professional in one scene in particular where she helped Patricia and Ashley find some suitable attire for Charleston. Fans were shocked when a day of shopping totaled over $10,000 for three outfits, complete with accessories, all on Ravenel’s credit card.
But what would an interaction with Ravenel and his partner be without a bit of controversy? Of course, the topic of who paid for the clothing came up on part two of the Southern Charm reunion, where even the men thought it was presumptuous to put that kind of money on a man’s account after dating for two months.
Ashley Jacobs said that she went shopping that day with Patricia not knowing or concerned about who was paying. She stated that she didn’t know if Gwynn’s was giving her the clothing or if Thomas was picking up the five-figure tab. She then suggested that she was going to return the outfits the next day, but Thomas said she had earned the generous gift.
Simon seemed confused about the assumptions made by Thomas’ girlfriend, saying that it all sounds odd.
“When they filmed that scene with Patricia [Altschul], Ashley came into our store as a customer and we treated her as such. We can’t give away clothes and simultaneously run a successful business, so that was never on the table or part of the discussion. We are already established in our community and can’t stop our business operation because there is a camera present. The only way we give discounts or comped items is in a professional setting with people that work with or for us.”
But Madison is never opposed to aiding her customers in any way necessary. She says that the ladies of the Bravo show call, text, and drop into the store regularly, even if it’s just to accessorize a look.
“Most of the time people want my help with assembling a total look, head to toe. We can take a pair of shoes and a handbag, and style a complete look around them, all the way to their lipstick color. It’s always fun and keeps my creative juices flowing.”