bricks and mortar

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bricks and mortar

Postby ramdomthought » Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:39 pm

posting this thread to talk about brick and mortar shops

what stores are interesting to you and why

what makes you stick in a store or come back

what do you like stores to carry

what is local to you that you enjoy

where can i find this in a size small

etc
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby ramdomthought » Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:51 pm

AK Rikk's -- Local Shop

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Carries a ton of stuff I'd never wear, but really a great shop

Lots of #menswear italian stuff, some good contemporary stuff

had a bunch of cpcompany and SI stuff

Just opened that new store a year ago after being in a strip mall. Their buys have gotten bigger and are really pretty fantastic. Women's side is new as well as of the new store

They keep expanding their staff and they pull some great sales. This was the first boutique I've ever been to and still probably one of the best
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby ramseames » Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:54 pm

is that whole thing their own building? looks sick
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby Indieguy » Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:54 pm

COS in Stockholm has a great looking concrete counter. I like concrete.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby ramdomthought » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:05 pm

@ramseames yeah, it's fuckin huge.

two floors, lots of furniture -- bit of herman miller (eames) sort of things

upstairs men's side is suits in the likes of brunello cucinelli, isaia, and hickey freeman (which they have some weird/fantastic cut from!). Great seating and presentation. Cozy atmosphere which fits well with the clothing they have up there

downstairs men's is contemporary stuff like stone island, lbm1911, hugo boss, hudson jeans. lotta stuff out of my wheelhouse but still great to be exposed to. Also a ton of italian brands i haven't heard much of (Eidos, Gimo's, Miansai) for example


edit: worth bearing in mind too that this is a store in a city where the only thing we have close to menswear other than here is an old man shop (80s hickey freeman rather than 2014 hickey sort of thing) and wolverine. crazy this place can exist and be successful and also wonderful
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby Ques » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:23 pm

i was hoping someone would make this thread

in austin my favorite store by far is bygeorge. i always forget to take pictures when i go, and there isn't much on the web, which is a pity because they've taken classic texan and southwestern style and architecture and modernized it in a really interesting way. this isn't only reflected in the brick and mortar store, but also in their buys. the owner and creator of the store visits all the showrooms himself (not sure if this is industry standard, either way it seemed cool to me) and his picks are always very cohesive. everything in the store seems to work with everything else, even if just by looking at the labels you wouldn't expect it. sadly the 'bygeorge man' isn't a small, so i never get stocked. however, trying everything on in a medium is still fun. one of the best parts of the store is how knowledgeable the SAs are; they know every brand, know when they're getting new shipments and what's in them, always have a suggestion for you to try something. plus they're great flintstone because they always dress incredibly well. also they just started stocking eg, which i'm ever thankful for, because before being able to see the stuff in person i couldn't understand why people went crazy for the stuff. after being able to try on a bedford in person i can definitely see what they hype's about.

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the woman's side of the store is run by his wife, and is at least three times as large. going in there opened my eyes to how interesting women's fashion can be, the way a piece of clothing can come to life when it isn't on a page is incredible.

in portland there's a really cool shop called frances may. it's split down the middle men/women, and is much more reflective of my personal style, which is nice. a wonderful benefit of shopping in person is you get exposed to brands that aren't internet cool, but they're right next to the hyped brands so you can decide for yourself which piece is actually worth your time and money. i've gotten to know quite a few cool new brands through frances may. my favorite aspect of this store is definitely the staff though, the SA who seems to work there 24/7 remembers the outfit i wore the last time i was there, remembers what i tried on, etc. that way she always seems to have a cool suggestion, since she seems to know how i like to dress.

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however, b&m stores usually can't compare price-wise to their online alternatives, so i usually don't make any big-ticket purchases there, since my funds are somewhat limited. however, i try to 'do my part' by purchasing things like cool socks or maybe a scarf once in a while to support their business.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby ramseames » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:38 pm

No secret I'm a big fan of what Haven does. Their original Vancouver location was in Blood Alley, or Gaoler's mews, in the old jail cell from the mid 1800s. Just off one of the busiest tourist walking streets in the city, but hidden away enough that most people wouldn't come across it unless they knew what they were looking for. 2 floors, pretty small, packed as tightly as they could with inventory without it ever feeling crowded or uncomfortable. Their new space is a lot larger for that reason, they wanted to stock more of what they buy here. Its nice too but its just not quite the same, not as much character.

(none of these are my pics):

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edit- new space (again not my pics):

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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby Blastoise » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:43 pm

There's practically nothing here in MN besides a couple of streetwear shops in Uptown that carry Nikes and whatever but it's not even much of a step up from mall tier stores that carry almost the same thing. Pretty lame because I'd really like the chance to see and handle items before I buy them. @silvaeri @Bootz_Rex do you guys know of anything in the cities?
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby ramdomthought » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:46 pm

worth presenting: what makes stores suck? Where have you had bad experiences? why?
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby ramdomthought » Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:54 pm

i hate odin (brick & mortar)

the shop itself has really lame buys and lame prices. I always feel like they're trying to be some kind of grittier version of stevenalan every time i go in. The SAs are fine as expected but the clothing is tough to sell for what they get.

Their prices suck, the way the stores are arranged could be improved. The store just seems to be missing something that gives it "soul".
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby Ques » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:00 pm

i don't like steven alan but i go there anyway. they buy cool brands like our legacy, acne, lvc, norse, filson, dana lee, EG, etc., but they only buy the 'safe' items from each collection. they'll get a tee from lvc, a sweat from OL, a tee and some jeans from acne, etc. then, they mix in their own stuff with these other brands, and stick an overpriced sticker on their own stuff hoping the buyer assumes it's of the same quality as the other brands, and from my experience the steven alan stuff is always worse, both in quality and design. however, this isn't to say that they only make bad stuff, as i do buy some of it on sale, but it just comes off as a cheap ploy to me.

also they sell all sorts of soaps, coffee-table books, leather goods, towels, jams n jellies, etc., in order to project some sort of lifestyle. i'm not going to pass judgment on that but i think it's interesting that they mix that stuff in with the clothes.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby chadnik » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:16 pm

I don't mind shops with a "lifestyle" marketing philosophy/aesthetic—it's natural that a store would want to create an immersive, branded experience from the clothing they stock on outward. Spot on about Steven Alan only buying safe pieces, though. It's sort of like they're stuck between a safe, prepster, graduated-from-Madewell aesthetic and a feeling of obligation to be more exploratory/fashun-y. A benefit of is that their sale stuff is often good because I think their target demographic doesn't snap up Acne and Black Crane as quickly as at, say, Totokaelo.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby blankinput » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:16 pm

I definitely agree about Odin. I lived mere seconds away in college and always found the place to be uninviting and the SAs slightly snobbish. Their buys are routinely piss-poor, as well.

Carson Street Clothiers is a disappointing store. Imagine the end result of taking the "fashion brah" attitude of Four-Pins and combining it with a knack for the whole Pitti Uomo and NYC sportswear scene. The guys who run it are (almost all) nice enough, but they really know nothing about leaving their customers with a solid impression. Reviews say the same.

On the positive end of the spectrum are Nepenthes and some of the RRL stores. Unfortunately for the latter you have to walk in dressed to the nines to get the full customer service effect. Either that, or you had better be busting out a Black Card and have the willingness to spend a couple grand. That really irks me, but oh well. Some of the SAs who work there are supremely helpful. I've learned a lot in the past.

Blue in Green is *unreal* as far as customer service goes. The staff is incredibly patient, the store is laid out very well, and the soft jazz in the background is very relaxing. 10/10.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby alby » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:43 pm

I think a lot of brick and mortar stores do that. I personally like it. I think a lot of those things go hand in hand with clothing.

Context is in my backyard and is definitely a very cool store. It's located right next to the capitol building in Madison, and is a pretty small shop. It's in a tiny little plaza with a kitchenware store, as well. Around the store are a few coffee shops that are nice and some bars as well. I think Context keeps pricing in line with other stores, and their in-sale and online sales are pretty solid as well. They're always super nice when I go in these, and a few of the employees remember me now and then. They're all pretty knowledgeable on what they are selling and are happy to strike up a conversation about anything. I don't think it's displayed on the website, but they also have a cool "used" rack of clothing. It's either items that have been damaged (missing buttons, pulled threads, whatever) and super cheap prices, or vintage pieces that have been found second hands. I've seen a few pairs of missing button EG pieces, Left Field, etc, all for under 100$.

All in all, I will rec context to anyone, very good place.

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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby popcorn » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:30 pm

ahhhh this thread took to long to exist
I'm a huge fan of brick and mortar curatorial stores, and whenever I travel all i want to do is look around a brick and mortar

It kinda started in Xanadu, we visit yearly and this year I went to Unionmade SF with intent, a relative of mine is the landlord for Standard & Strange Oakland, and I even stumbled into Bows & Arrows Oakland while walking on telegraph (got a pair of old skools from the sale rack :sweg:).

But with so much to write about, I'll start with one I really loved.

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Gentry NYC has no About Us section, but I wouldn't hazard to guess they're more than five years old.
Located on an unassuming side street surrounded by restaurants in Brooklyn, NYC, Gentry has captured with their location the kind of unassuming, creative, suave bustle that is too cool to not associate with the city that doesn't often snooze.
Boasting a brand list that is one part clean tailored Luxe - Aspesi, CDG, Crombie - and two parts repro workwear fetishing - OrSlow, Merz B., Post O'alls, Red Wing, - it's hard to find the pulse of Gentry, but I'd say they're one of the best stores at capturing the frontier of highly creative Japan-meets-Americana, best driven by designers like EG NY, Needles, or Yuketen.

And the store is more creative than you'd expect from a curator! Of course carrying a roster of publications, I wouldn't be surprised if Gentry started printing their own. Visiting Gentry, I was astounded at how friendly and knowledgeable the staff was, but behind their warm smiles, thick framed glasses, and tame facial hair, Gentry NYC is a creative.

All pieces on Gentry's webstore are modeled by their own staff. It's clear that they don't just sell their clothing, they share the style, and they love it.
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The last guy here was in the store the day I visited, wearing an EG Baker over a gray tee, cuffed straight-fit fern patch pocket pants, and cordovan boots. In the New York, New York Summer.


And there's more, check the features section of their website. They're producing photoshoots, stylings, and even collaborative lookbooks. They're looking at curation in more than one sense.
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If you live in NYC definitely visit some time and give them some love. When I visited, they had just moved up to a bigger, more wooden interiored storefront. I wouldn't put it past them to move up again, the only question is when.

As for the actual buying of things (this is the boring part to write about), Gentry liberally puts last season on sale, and don't have a disappearing sale section like SOME STORES (@unionmade). Their brand roster is colossal, including footwear! Analogous to their clothing, they offer high quality leather footwear in the same basket as sub-$100 sneakers. If I hadn't gone, I wouldn't have known those Jack Purcell sneakers they sell actually have a bitchin' cork footbed, like Birkenstocks, and now I really want a pair. Speaking of Birks, they sell them. Gentry, guys, buy from Gentry. Phew, glad I'm done here.

EDIT: Spoilered my mess
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby popcorn » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:53 pm

I actually had an idea for a series of blogs/pieces/interviews called Behind The Counter where every issue I (or someone more enjoyable/knowledgeable) talk(s) to a curatorial independent brick and mortar store in two parts. The first is a series of questions that is consistent through every interview (When did your store open, what are some brands you carry, any brands you would like to carry, etc.) and the second would be an interview with a higher up (owner, financier, etc.) that could go in any direction. Doing the interview is a little more tricky, since I would want to talk to people in every major city. The interview could be done via skype and published on youtube/vimeo, or could be done in writing, which is probably a little worse. The idea would be to help consumers understand these stores and how they communicate with designers and labels, and then in return consumers would feel a greater connection to local stores and interest in these big city stores would increase. Seems win-win and very interesting.

Does this sound like something you'd find interesting? And please articulate thoughts. :+)
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby ramdomthought » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:17 pm

wish i had pics

this tiny little shop in lisbon -- Slou

Probably the best buy & brandlist I've seen. Frank Leder, CDG Shirt, CP, MMM x Cons, APC, A Kind of Guise, Folk, Our Legacy, GBV, and a few others I'm forgetting

Tiny little shop run by a really wonderful guy who is just trying his luck. Typical "minimal" setup and a dressing room with a door reminiscent of Atelier's. The store is laid out (or was) with racks along the walls with all the gear. Additional sizes in the back. Huge sale rack which makes me worried he's not doing terribly well. Shoot him an e-mail if you are interested in gear as well, he's a pretty fluent English speaker.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby agvs » Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:22 pm

ryan_firecrotch wrote:I wouldn't put it past them to move up again, the only question is when.


Gentry actually just announced in their styleforum thread that they're moving again. They've already closed their old brick & mortar shop.

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While our official new space on North 7th is still under construction, we will be setting up shop temporarily on 109 South 5th St. (First Floor)
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby bels » Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:55 am

I got such beef on the retail experience. Assistants always telling you things look good (Has an assistant ever said "That doesn't suit you don't buy it" ?), limited time to really appraise an item, weak search algorithim, limited stock, conservative buys. Biggest beef is shops with store credit returns policy in store, but money back online. Drives me bental.

Sad to say it but my fav store is probably COS. It has chairs to sit in and chill out and as COS items are so boring it's really difficult to get interested in them when you just see them online so they're often worth looking at. It's also not a "luxxxxury" store so I know I'm actually in the target demographic to buy stuff and not just some hobbyist pretender which tends to make me feel more relaxed.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby Rosenrot » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:13 am

^^Maybe that explains why I love COS so much.

Once I spent two hours in the store thinking what to buy/not to buy, sauntering back and forth in the process, trying stuff out, and not once did the SAs bat an eye or gave me the dirty look, even let me walk out of the changing room while reserving it for me. Their stuff definitely looks better in person, not sure why they like to flatten things in photos when often it's the volume that wins me over.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby frogosaurus » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:36 am

Atlanta fuckin sucks for b&m. The only remotely good stores are Sid Mashburn which is hardcore prep/hasthtagmenswear stuff and a tiny steven alan location that usually stocks 2 or 3 EG pieces per season, APC denim, and CP's.

Pic for reference:

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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby bels » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:11 am

Is that the tiny store location?
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby millikelvin » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:48 am

(First post after lurking for ages, hope I didn't mess up the formatting)

I really like the Dover Street Acne store (in London, was buying jeans), and it doesn't hurt that it's right next to dover street market where you can pretend you're just going to the bakery but everyone knows you're just staring at the awesomeness (they were about to let me try on an Alaia dress (!!)). The Acne store has this weird chipped and painted over piano, and unfinished wooden-floored/walled changing rooms that feel like...the interiors of saunas (not sure if that's intentional, and I've only seen those in Finland, but I guess Sweden has them too) but what was awesome was this feeling I didn't realise I was missing. So I'm from India, and when I was a kid and went shopping with my mom and stuff you'd go to...like, the fabric shops, and tailor's shops, and shops for traditional clothing, and the people there would just...know their stuff! They knew all the specific stuff like where the silk was from, and what was the weaving type, and the small clothing shop people could size you at a glance, and they engaged with you in a real way instead of being all fake smiley/welcoming and buy-this-you-pleb which is what you get in all the regular shops. But the high ends shops I've been to feel like they're somewhat carrying on the tradition of having people who're interested in the clothes/fashion and can talk to you about it, and know their stuff. At Acne there was this Japanese guy who told me so much about their denim it wasn't even funny.

I was thinking that it's so sad, though, that this kind of experience is now tied only to luxury stores.

Though I agree that COS is pretty good, and their associates seem way more non-robotic. I pass by them on my way to work and nearly always get suckered in. So much of their stuff is feel and texture and hang that it's a sacrilege that they sell online.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby Bootz_Rex » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:01 pm

@Blastoise Black Blue is the shit. All the workers there are really knowledgeable and nice. Especially Satchel, the store manager, such a nice guy it's insane he's always got a goofy smile on his face. And then they carry a ton of great brands it's one of the only places I buy clothes anymore.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby can- » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:43 am

I think the sa's at steve alan and odin have always been really friendly and goofy o/ maybe I've just been enough to get to know some of them.

stores like prada and slp give me anxiety when sa's don't bother addressing me because I'm obv not buying. at any other store I'm happy when people leave me alone, but I don't like being snubbed at high lux stores.

love big stores like brooks bros, opening ceremony where you can hide from sales people. I think dsm is a little quirky for the sake of being quirky or quirky because they can afford it. the free mineral water at acne locations (still or sparkling) is is a little sweet and has a very smooth mouthfeel and I usually feel a little bad drinking it and not buying anything.

high street locations like hm/uniqlo are nightmares, too many people.

the best salesperson is someone who is earnestly friendly and can direct attention towards you without any pressure. the right sa on occasion gives me an asmr response with the proper calm demeanor. DH has the sweetest salespeople. it can also be great to work with people who are as genuinely excited about the clothes as you are.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby JtotheWhat » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:15 pm

I have worked in retail clothing basically since I was 15 and still do as a part time job while I finish University, I love brick and mortar stores and it's something that I'm really passionate about..I still VERY rarely buy anything online, I think if you've worked in retail, especially in an area that you're passionate about with likeminded people, you learn to appreciate how important a role b&M stores play in the industry and how much more they are than just a middle man.

I love when an associate is friendly and passionate in a genuine way, and If I had to choose between being ignored or being possible annoyed by a passionate associate I will always choose the latter. On the other hand when someone is just looking at you as a potential sale it is super obvious and almost as bad as being completely ignored.

My dream and goal since as long as I can remember has been to open and run a brick & mortar store, so I love always seeing how other people are doing it, hope we can see more in this thread.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby DeafIdiotGod » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:57 pm

Studio Toogood

http://studiotoogood.com/work

This London based interior design company (featured in recent LCM post checkitout) are responsible for some fantastic installations and store designs. Here are a few that I particularly like.

Hostem, London: Artist In Residence

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Hostem in Shoreditch is a great store to begin with. The downstairs has a lovely cobbled together look to it, bare wooden tables and flooring, uneven rough metal railings, crates and stuff lying around, the stocked brands like MA+ and Yohji fit in very well with this aesthetic. The upstairs is much more minimal and is home to brands like Rick with a slightly cleaner look, above this is a mezzanine area which is the setting of Toogood's installation which features a load of cool coats and trews made by them. There were also some special in store events scheduled apparently, idk if they've already happened. The SA was very nice and let me take some photos, in fact the staff there are rather nice in general, particularly for a high end store; they didn't make me feel uncomfortable and out of place in my cheapo clothing. Try to tell the difference between promo shots and my phone camera.

http://studiotoogood.com/work/installations/hostem

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Hermès, London

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This was up in 2013 so visiting was impossible, gutted. I love how intense it all is, the red is almost too saturated and that paired with the way everything's painted it looks like the colour is oozing out of the wood. It features decoration made from offcuts from Hermès scarves and has a load of aprons, hats and other accessories all made from old, discarded leather goods from the house.

http://studiotoogood.com/work/interiors/herm-s-

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Comme Des Garçons / Dover Street Market, London

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Loads of squares and cubes, inspired by all the plaids in the Comme SS10 menswear. I mean look at all these right angles, not much more I need to say.

http://studiotoogood.com/work/installat ... es-garcons

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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby ramseames » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:13 pm

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bape just opened a store in italy (brescia)

this is perplexing
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby stappard_ » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:47 pm

Don't know much about Brescia but I can imagine it being one of those places that randomly has loads of high fashion boutiques. And a Bape store, apparently.
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Re: bricks and mortar

Postby ramseames » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:07 pm

new OL london store is nice but also looks like every other fashun retail space

cool sign though

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