Slowear opens second New York Store in Noho
Slowear is quickly making a mark on the fast-paced retail recovery in lower Manhattan. Poised at the corner of Lafayette and Bleecker Street, the spacious store will carry the multi-brand men’s labels the Venetian retailer owns, such as Incotex, Zanone, Glanshirt, and Montedoro plus, a curated selection of coveted labels, beauty products, and books to offer a complete shopping experience.
The brand kicked off the opening of the more than 3,000 square-foot retail space with a party celebrating the neighborhood. Cocktails by neighboring New York institution Temple Bar were served to help set the shop’s tone. The store has a lounge equipped with a bar and a smart TV connected to the newly created 'Slowear TV'—Slowear Magazine's TV channel—and a beauty area with men’s grooming products and a treatment studio. The screens featured videos of men’s style experts such as Scott Shuman of The Satorialist and menswear photographer and podcast host Jonathan Daniel Pryce musing on style in the 'Buy Better, Buy Less’ campaign.
The full-service shopping experience is part of a larger strategy the company is pedaling.
"Slowear, which has never stood still even during the pandemic, has always believed in physical and experiential retail and, in the last two years, has opened a mixology bar integrated with a women's store in Milan,” said Marco Bernardini, the CEO appointed last May. "With online growth in double figures, we continue to strongly believe in omnichannel retailing and the presence of our stores in close proximity to our customers. He noted that other store openings include men’s stores in Paris, Hamburg, and Chicago and soon a third store in Rome at Rinascente di Roma Fiume.
On hand to greet press and fans of the brand was CMO Marco Muggiano, who was visibly pleased with the turnout and the space designed in collaboration with Studio Donati of Milan.
“We really believe in Lafayette Street because the area is changing so quickly,” he said, mentioning the new Kith store, which sits catty-corner, A Bathing Ape which sits on the north corner of Lafayette and Bleecker, the Italian men’s blazer brand Boglioli one block up. The addition of Slowear builds the area’s reputation as a one-stop men’s shopping district.
Slowear had signed the lease just before the pandemic, but the rent was deferred until 2022. They missed out on the post-pandemic lease deals others scored with vacancies caused by Covid-19-related shutdowns for many retailers. Slowear is housed in the former Noho Star restaurant—which previously contained Temple Bar—that closed in late 2017.
“We took the space right before the pandemic, so we are paying pre-pandemic rent, but it's worth it; look at this space,” said Muggiano, pointing to the original columns that were left in place. Since it was the old Noho Star restaurant, everyone in New York City has probably been here.”
The brand campaign that suggests quality over quantity blasted across the screens and seems obvious on the one hand for a brand called Slowear but also contradictory in terms of the retail game in which sales is the goal.
“We want the customer to enjoy the experience of shopping to buy something that will last and to build a wardrobe,” he said, pointing to a new Slowear shirt, a 10-year-old T-shirt, and pair of tree-year-old pants he was wearing.
“We don’t look at it as a meaningless purchase that is often tossed out, he said, reciting a statistic that per capita, more than 35 kilos of clothing are thrown out by Americans yearly. With that, he espoused an Italian consumption behavior.
“In Italy, we would rather enjoy a glass or two of really good wine to experience its taste rather than drink it just to drink wine.”
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