From our friends at Converse:
Today, Converse Inc. announced the opening of its first specialty retail store in Manhattan, opening just weeks after the company’s launch of their first-ever specialty retail store in the Newbury Street neighborhood of Boston, Mass. The new SoHo store located at 560 Broadway and Prince Streets will open Friday, November 26. The heart of Manhattan’s vibrant SoHo shopping district provides an ideal backdrop to showcase Converse’s independent spirit and diverse product offering, including one-of-a-kind footwear, a brand new collection of women’s and men’s apparel and accessories and unique product customization capabilities.
“The Converse brand was first in sports and first in rock ‘n roll so we’re extremely excited to bring our fans the first Converse New York City specialty retail store,” said Michael Spillane, Converse Chief Executive Officer. “Converse has deep roots in New York City culture from basketball to the influential underground music scenes of the 80s and 90s. The newest Converse store will allow visitors to immerse themselves in a unique Converse experience. The varied product assortment will amaze and delight consumers looking for new and exclusive ways to engage with our brand.”
The SoHo store will offer the largest offering of Converse footwear in the world, showcasing the breadth of the brand’s collections including Chuck Taylor All Star, Jack Purcell, Star Chevron, One Star and Converse by John Varvatos, as well as other premium footwear collaborations. Additionally, a new line of men’s and women’s apparel and accessories grounded in the company’s American heritage of sports and rock ‘n roll will give consumers a true head-to-toe innovative shopping experience. The Converse apparel collection includes a range of graphic t-shirts, denim and outerwear. New York exclusive merchandise, including over 20 exclusive footwear styles and limited edition “I Star Chevron” graphic tees featuring New York City’s iconic boroughs and neighborhoods will be sold exclusively at the SoHo store. All of New York City’s boroughs are represented plus key neighborhoods such as SoHo, L.E.S., Williamsburg, Coney Island and Hell’s Kitchen, to name a few.
The store’s design features speak directly to Converse’s distinct sport and rock ‘n roll heritage. Converse worked with New York based architecture firm Jennifer Carpenter Architect to preserve as much of the original details of the 110 year old building as possible. The single floor retail space is approximately 7,000 square feet using several reclaimed and natural elements to create a vintage inspired feel. From old gymnasium bleachers and recycled wood flooring to re-used Brooklyn factory parts and iconic New York City imagery, all in-store elements blend to create authentic design details. Tying back to the brand’s 102 year old American heritage, a 13-foot by 35-foot American flag made from 648 pairs of red, white and blue Chuck Taylor All Star shoes will welcome visitors and can be seen through the storefront window.
Taking center stage of the space and the first of its kind is a 40-foot wall featuring an expansive Chuck Taylor All Star footwear collection. White tiled walls throughout the space pay homage to the New York City subway, creating a unique backdrop for the new denim collection, which features 24 styles for women and men.
Another key feature of the New York City store experience will be Converse’s unique customization capabilities for both apparel and footwear available in-store. Converse customization will allow customers to select exclusive product including shoes, t-shirts and bags, along with graphics and colors, to create their very own masterpiece of personal expression. Customization Maestros will be on hand to provide one-on-one assistance with two state-of-the-art printers that will offer over 200 graphic options that will be updated monthly, with plans of inclusion of limited edition selections from collaborations with well-known artists. Customers will be able to create and leave the store with their creations same day with the final product presented in its own special package, taking customization to new heights touching an individual’s inner artist.
The grand opening of the Converse SoHo store will be on Friday, November 26, 2010, opening at 8 am. The store’s normal operating hours will be Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 8 pm, and Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm.