When someone passes you on the street in an oversized tee and baggy sweatpants, it’s no longer safe to assume they’re just darting out for a stealthy coffee run or hurrying home after a long night of partying. Those sweatpants might be Alexander Wang and cost a good chunk of any reasonable paycheck. The homely look has now become hip thanks to the booming streetwear trend, and no one knows the style better than the progessive retailer KITH. To better understand the cost of a $500 sweatshirt, let’s explore their new Los Angeles-based store and gallery.
KITH Los Angeles is the company’s seventh retail and fourth flagship store. Most of their other retail locations are spread out across the state of New York, but the brand has also recently expanded into Miami. All of KITH’s shops have been co-designed by Snarkitecture. The 3500-square-foot space incorporates many different styles and elements, but thanks to the firm’s careful design considerations, they all blend seamlessly into a fresh and cohesive aesthetic.
The new store has two entrances, one from an exterior courtyard and one from a parking garage. Make sure to enter through the garage, though, or you may miss out on the “special gallery zone” just to the left of the main shopping area. This display is truly a nod to street art, as it’s entirely contained within the parking structure. Artists who participate “will rotate displaying their works directly onto 9 large parking spaces to create unique murals.”
The main shopping area is decidely more industrial, with plain gray walls and flooring and exposed pipes running along the ceiling. The room is filled with all things streetwear, ranging from distressed denim to brightly-colored sweatpants. This section seems to have been given a purposely simple design to better showcase the clothing in it.
In the center of the store, the factory look is exchanged for a futuristic one, as characterized by a sleek shopping area sectioned off by thin glass panels. This room is further distinguished from the rest of the space by a completely unique ceiling, which diffues, scatters, and reflects natural light from many angles. Of course, the public’s attention is supposed to be drawn to this room, as it contains one of the most important aspects of streetwear: the footwear.
KITH’s blog assures that the store will contain all of the brand’s signature features. Since shoes are such an integral part of the streetwear trend, sneakers are exhibited as art installations in every one of their flagship locations. Here in Los Angeles, you’ll immediately notice about 200 Air Jordan 6 casts hanging down from the ceiling, all surrounded by plush greenery. Since the actual shoes run anywhere from $100 to $500, hanging them was out of the question.
The vibrant greenery encircling the sneakers is a aspect repeated all throughout the store, providing a sense of continuity between the industrial and futuristic sections. The retailer’s other trademark is a little unexpected: sweet treats! The company boasts of “a KITH Treats cereal bar where customers will be able to enjoy commuter bowls, ice cream swirls, and milkshakes.” Whether you’re looking to drop some serious cash on sneakers, check out some street art, or even snack on some cereal, KITH will not disappoint.