Digital men's footwear brand Taft opens premiere flagship in NYC
Direct-to-consumer men’s footwear brand Taft is set to open its first retail property and flagship store in New York City on November 21.
Located at 135 Prince Street, the store will allow customers to try on the digital-first brand’s shoes in-person for the first time, and will stock a range of Taft’s unique footwear, from captoe lace-ups featuring wool flannel to boots made with a mix of denim and leather. Prices for Taft shoes typically hover within the $200 range.
The store was designed by Bobby Redd, a retail design firm that has previously worked on experiential physical retail projects with digitally native brands like Bonobos and Allbirds. Inside the flagship, visitors will find a curated mix of vintage and new furniture, as well as a shoe wall displaying 48 of Taft’s most popular styles.
According to the brand, the choice to make NYC the home of its first brick-and-mortar store was made in response to rapidly increasing demand for its shoes and for an in-store customer experience.
“When we dreamed up Taft in our living room, we had big ambitions, and having our own store was absolutely one of them,” said Kory Stevens, the brand’s founder. “Seeing our products displayed on shelves and in the hands of our customers is a dream come true. Being an online-only brand, we miss out on the magical moment when a customer sees the shoes for the first time and tries them on. We’re super excited for people to get that experience in our first store.”
Founded in 2014 and based in Utah, Taft opens its first store after netting $5 million in a seeding fund round in July 2018, which marked the company’s first venture capital infusion. Led by Utah-based venture capital firm Kickstart Seed Fund, other investors included NBA stars Dwyane Wade and Andre Iguodala, as well as tech executives like Traeger Grills CEO Jeremy Andrus, Chatbooks CEO Nate Quigley and Cotopaxi CEO Davis Smith.
The brand has also received backing from Fifth Wall Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on helping digitally native companies open brick-and-mortar stores.
The Taft flagship will join other direct-to-consumer apparel brand stores in Soho, including Faherty as well as Untuckit, another brand that has received support from Fifth Wall.
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