More Than Brick & Mortar
Shop concept is the concept. Seeing it before it is tangible from textures to colors or lack thereof. We have been students of retail aesthetics for sometime, watching classic stores in Seattle like Capitol 1524 and seeing their focus on looking the part to their culture and customer. Their cage fence shoe displays and graffiti filled walls made sense. It showed us early the colorful side of street wear even before brands like Shmack and Orisue, oh and of course Rocksmith. It was an emerging experience that took you from the street into a world they had manufactured to be a sneaker cult kids ideal experience - it blended all the elements of it in one room.
Quite possibly the Kaiser of the culture the GOODS boutique on Pike was exactly the opposite. It took you from the street into a clean and luxury type of consumer first experience. Their reduction of the street wear dream sequence opened up the store space and put products on a mantle. The glass and wood combo gave a youthful, gritty street inspired consumer the chance to shop in style. Taking graphic T shirts from sized and stacked piles to elegant one piece displays and table top outfit grids was like speaking antonyms to what we thought was back alley exclusive not mansion bookcase secret door exclusive. It changed everything for us.
Our taste level has naturally grown as new flavors touched our palette and finer grades of denim plagued our closets. It's only furthered our desire to wander deeper behind the curtain. Seeking out Seattle staples that Tacoma's fashion fan base had to travel in order to acquire was the challenge accepted. Stores such Blutch Blum, whose insides are laid with soft carpet and custom polished black wood shelving surrounding sturdy, metal, center display tables with polished steel legs. We wanted to feel as though we were not suppose to be touching product and then touch it, try it on, and after a good paycheck even purchase. Although as we evolved so did the stores within our own culture. Highsnobiety recently released a collection of stores they felt deserved an award for best store concept, which may have only shown the cleanest shops and not the most creative but nonetheless all of the nominees showed how to do simple in a thoughtful manner. Streetwear is losing its raw edge that appealed to youth in order to chase a more economically stable customer - its sad but its growth.
Peep those here. And check out the photos of some of our favorites below: