Streetwear Retail: US Openings
Streetwear is booming in the US, with the sneaker resale industry alone earning $1bn in sales last year (Financial Times, 2015). Featuring hybridised spaces for fan-communities, a run of LA concepts and an appointment-only destination for women, we select the brightest US stores catering to the sector upsurge.
LA: Streetwear Epicentre
Los Angeles is a key hot spot for launches, offering comfortable territory for native brands easing their way into bricks-and-mortar commerce close to home. It also attracts retail newcomers – such as Canadian rapper Drake – looking to trade on the city’s reputation as the birthplace of surf and skate culture.
- Official Crown of Laurel: Californian men’s skate brand Official Crown of Laurel has debuted a flagship on Melrose Avenue. The compact 800 sq ft space features a floor-to-ceiling front window, polished concrete flooring and minimal plywood pieces by Washington-based designers RePly Furniture. Items are displayed in plywood and glass cubes, with the label’s vast hat collection lining the store.
- Ovo: Drake’s debut US store for his men’s brand Ovo (October’s Very Own) has opened on the growing LA streetwear enclave of La Brea Avenue. The ultra-minimal 2,400 sq ft space is bathed in white, excluding a metal brand logo owl on the back wall, and a semi-illuminated cash desk. The whitewashed interior offers a literal blank canvas for the collection, displayed on and inside wall-mounted rails and boxes, and two oversized central plinths.
- Feeling Myself: Focusing on women’s streetwear, LA brand Dimepiece has opened its first appointment-only concept store/showroom in Downtown LA. Occupying the second level of the Fashion District's Merchant Exchange building, the sleek interior boasts metal beams and a minimal colour palette – its black walls are contrasted by subtle orange and not-so-subtle florescent strip lighting, framing wall-mounted displays. See Kith’s Female Streetwear Flagship for more on brands tapping into the underserved female market.
See also LA Retail Openings: Spring 2016.
Snaring Sneakerhead Culture
The son of a former basketball star launched his own sneaker shop, while an American football player reopened a local sneakerhead favourite, complete with a shrine to the athletes that inspired the NY-based culture.
- Trophy Room: Marcus Jordan, son of US basketball legend Michael Jordan, has opened Trophy Room – a sneaker store in Disney World Orlando rife with Jordan memorabilia. The walls are decorated with exclusive pictures and rare items, referencing the family’s own trophy room. Otherwise sparse, the interior is dominated by grey steel fixtures and includes polished industrial touches, including an overhead grid light fixture. See also Resales: Air Jordan.
- The Restock: After a lengthy renovation, Joe Haden, cornerback to American football team Cleveland Browns, has reopened his sneaker shop The Restock in his native Cleveland, Ohio. The 2,000 sq ft store boasts a new locker-room theme complete with a basketball net and signed memorabilia from professional athletes, while the walls are lined with rows of limited-edition footwear.
- Deadstock Coffee: Also tapping into sneakerhead culture, US janitor-turned-sneaker designer Ian Williams’ Deadstock Coffee shop in Portland, Oregon is a meeting place for sneaker enthusiasts. The super-diminutive 400 sq ft space seats just six people and is decorated with framed pictures of basketball players and iconic sneaker design blueprints and advertisements. It also houses a post-purchase maintenance service, where customers can drop off shoes and discuss sneaker upkeep (see also Jason Mark in Active Flagships).
- Kilter: LA-based unisex streetwear brand Kilter is one of the latest additions to the Platform shopping development in Culver City. The 600 sq ft retail space features unpolished wooden shelves evoking the brand’s minimal, natural aesthetic. Guests are invited to browse the store while eating acai bowls and other healthy snacks, provided by Kilter’s sister company Sao Açai.