Last Thursday I attended two store openings, one for the brand spanking new West End Select Shop (which I will post about in depth next week) and Adorn's soft opening for their second location on SE Division. As is usually the case, shop owner Nicole Whitesell and her staff were working up until the last possible second to make sure everything came together, and from what I saw everything did. The space is huge and has lots of variety to choose from, including a sizable denim selection and lots of accessories. Fixtures were made by Whitesell's husband, and when I talked to her she said the space is still a work in progress, and admitted to bringing a big comfy leather chair in from home for a finishing touch.
From what I saw the place looks great, and with all of the activity and foot traffic happening on SE Division I am positive that the new location will bring them much success.
If you have yet to check out the new space, they are having a Grand Opening Party on October 16, complete with refreshments and prizes. Details can be found here.
More and more we see designers focusing on streetwear as their muse, and it's a legitimate venture, being that not everyone wants to dress up all the time, but not necessarily wants to throw on sweats and a boring hoodie neither.
A new kid is in town, and she's set up shop in NW. Her website states, "A One Woman Show" which must mean that she herself designs and produces all the products from her line, Moore, that includes, menswear, womenswear, and accessories. The launch party is worth checking out this Saturday from 6-9 pm. Items are mostly presented as custom, but apparently there's a small batch of stock ready to purchase, or be viewed as inspiration for custom garments.
Moore Launch Party: Saturday, 6-9pm
1720 NW Lovejoy
Stand up Comedy is packing up their goods at 811 E. Burnside and heading on over to 511 SW Broadway in a couple of weeks. Reducing stock is a smart move before a move, and lucky for us they want to pack less and make room for new goods. From now until October 15th, they're offering an additional 20% off all sale items both in store and online. That brings some items to almost 50% off, so if you've been swooning those Sydney Brown shiny gold slip ons, go get em'...now! They also have a long list of new pieces (in-store only) from brands including Alexa Stark, Electric Feathers and Anntian.
Stand Up Comedy will officially open their doors in the new location on October 14th.
Now: 811 E. Burnside
Soon: 511 SW Broadway
For online sales use code: SUCMOVE to get that extra 20%.
As mentioned briefly earlier this week, Palace is currently have a storewide sale in preparation for their move to roomier digs. They're headed to the former space of Meat for Cats and Dogs (which itself upgraded to more space across the street) at 2205 E Burnside. Go in and get your fix on vintage and new (Ace & Jig, Osei-Duro) gear, apothecary, textiles, and more, because their last day open in the original location off Belmont is October 13. Then mark your calendars for the re-opening on Nov 1, set to kick off with a party—details forthcoming. I'm quite anxious to see how they fill out the extra breathing room; plans are to expands into "rugs, home wares, food" and—even better for desk-bound perusers like myself, they'll be launching online shopping when doors re-open, too.
I'm writing this from a Bolt Bus that's headed to Seattle, and there's a list of things happening this evening in Portland that I'm having a sad to be missing. Perhaps chief among these is the opening of West End Select (927 SW Oak), a shop that, if early buzz is to be believed, will join spots like Stand Up Comedy and Table of Contents as one of the city's most sophisticated destinations for apparel and home goods.
The brainchild of Andi Bakos, the store has a distinctly international bent, with Bakos writing that, "we have brands from New Zealand, Budapest, Tokyo, Portland!" The gist of it is womenswear and accessories, and Bakos describes the aesthetic as "on the modern/ design-driven side of things. We also have our own line of 'vintage basics'—think vintage Levi's that have been silicone washed and hand distressed."
If you're in town, make me jelz and Instagram the shit out of the opening party, from 6-9 pm with wine, cocktails, and 10% off. Plan A is/was for the online shop to also open today, though as of this writing I'm not having any luck. Then again, it's only 8:30 am. :(
Hand-Eye Supply celebrates its move to roomier digs this week, with an re-opening party that includes first look at the expanded space and offerings, with tours, music, storytelling, games, drinks, and food to boot. Hand-Eye Supply, 427 NW Broadway, Thurs Oct 2, 6-9 pm
There was a time not so long ago when downtown retail suffered a 12 percent vacancy rate, spurring a coalition of private and public forces to concentrate their efforts on developing a thriving shopping corridor. The most notable effort, perhaps, was a series of holiday-season pop-up shops that featured local makers and retailers, some of which developed into permanent fixtures like Crafty Wonderland and Boys Fort. You can also thank those efforts for the influx of biggies like H&M and Sephora.
Now some of those same efforts—Portland Business Association, Portland Development Commission, Downtown Clean & Safe—are broadening their scope, recasting Old Town Chinatown as a new land of opportunity, something that's already been playing out in discussions over housing development. For one thing, this year will see the return of the pop-up project, this time located on NW 5th and Couch, featuring three local businesses that target the creative class, athletic/outdoor, and the neighborhood's cultural heritage. Additionally, PBA Retail Program Director Lisa Frisch says they are actively recruiting local retailers, particularly those who have been priced out of other neighborhoods, keeping the focus on independent shops rather than the nationals in SW, and taking advantage of the area's lower rents, including office spaces that are being converted back into storefronts.
November 13 is the tentative date for the relaunch of the pop-up, which will also be joined by another "yarn-bombing" effort (you probably recall the public art downtown appearing with scarves and hats last year), and at least three free parking days to encourage shoppers to plop their holiday dollars downtown. In the meantime, anyone interested in opening up shop can check out the recruitment package for businesses of the following types:
· Independent Restaurants - catering to breakfast, lunch, and dinner markets; neighborhood and fine-dining (destination) restaurants
· Businesses Reflecting the District’s Heritage - supporting the multi-ethnic heritage and character of the district
· Hospitality and Entertainment Venues- appealing to a broad range of demographics
· “Creative Class” Retail - specialty retail unique to the District such as Compound, Upper Playground, and Hand Eye Supply
· Grocery Concepts - small scale, specialty grocery/food options
· Basic Neighborhood Services for residents-dry cleaners, banks, pharmacy, and service retail
Look for more info on the upcoming holiday efforts—as well as details on already slated projects like the Grove Hotel and Pine Street Market—to start leaking imminently.
The Williams/Vancouver District in North Portland has been developing fairly slowing over the past few years, but it seems that suddenly it's there with more than a couple of shops to visit and places to eat. Queen Bee resides there, so does Grizzly Tattoo, Pizza A Go-Go, Kenny & Zukes Deli Bar (heaven for the mouth) and Lark Press to name a few. There is a pretty good variety there. A new shop is joining the NoPo gang of storefronts and they call themselves Workshop Vintage.
Owned by a couple of creative minded, collectors and makers; Audra, who grew up NJ, has a history of interior design and fine art, and Nate, originally from a small town in Northern CA., designs lamps and furniture in the arts and crafts style. They have a collection of fine quality vintage house-wares and home decor, vintage fashion and some locally sourced hand made goods as well. The highlight of this operation is that they have a sewing studio in the shop where they can make the working class custom work wear. Examples include: Wood working aprons (which are labeled "bullet proof" by Nate), tool pouches, hand bags and other accessories. If you'd like to learn more and see for yourself what they have to offer, they're having a Grand Opening Party, so go welcome them to the hood. Hopeless Jack will be there singing some tunes, and they'll have some beer and wine too.
4011 N. Williams
Grand Opening Party from 6-10pm
Parallel has a lot to be happy about for Fall including new brands, returning (highly missed) brands and shop favorites.
Apparently, the customers that hit Parallel often vocalized their desire for more Rag & Bone denim, so the shop listened and will be bringing in more styles to satisfy. Their favorite of the variety of washes is shown below on the skinny jean with perfectly placed paint splatters, which looks like a messy version of polka dots. Hey! Any way we can reinvent the polka dot is worth it in my opinion.
Many Portlanders have discovered the deep joy of listening to records. Record stores live strong in our small metropolis and for many vinyl enthusiasts, one shop in particular expertly curates our obsession. Andrew Neerman opened Beacon Sound's NE Prescott location three years ago, and the 300-square-foot space boasts excellent titles, Neerman's own label, and the occasional musical performance.
Well, Neerman recently harnessed this momentum and has joined forces with artists Bijan Berahimi and Michael Spoljaric to deliver a new Beacon Sound incarnation. The store reopens today at 3636 N Mississippi with almost 3x the amount of space, and will also be home to FISK gallery.
Neerman and Berahimi took a moment this week to have a coffee with me and share their vision for the new space. When Neerman originally opened Beacon Sound, he was interested in exploring the relationship between design and music which is clearly demonstrated in the creative endeavors associated with the shop. However, the incorporation of a gallery serves as an expansion of this interest. "We want the space to be design oriented, many record stores don't have a specific aesthetic and we wanted to build a bridge between design and music."
So what does this look like? You can find out this weekend at a host of events in the new space. Friday night Peter Broderick and Gabriel Soloman perform for their album release along with Gordon Ashworth. Saturday night delivers performances from 1939 Ensemble, Haste and Like a Villain.
The space will continually develop and grow as a "cultural hub" that brings artists together; a place where you can listen to a record, see some art and maybe even have a beer (more on that to come).
Congrats to Neerman, Berahimi, Spoljaric and to music/art devotees city wide. This one is going to be big.
Portland-centric retail shop/record label Tender Loving Empire shared some big announcements regarding their store—all of which are pretty exciting for anyone who enjoys shopping local.
“In the eight years since we started Tender Loving Empire, we have released over 50 projects via our record label and sold the work of hundreds of artists through our brick and mortar store in downtown Portland, Oregon. Because of the unwavering dedication and support of our fans, family, staff and people like you, we’ve been able to survive a recession, hire eight amazing people, and still love what we do. But we're not done yet!”
The biggest news of the bunch is that TLE will soon be opening a second location at 3541 SE Hawthorne Blvd. The store will be open for the holiday season and is being designed by local studio Fieldwork Design, known for their work with Nike, Keen, and Tanner Goods, among others. I can only imagine how modern and edgy the new space is going to be.
TLE will also begin developing their own product line, launching a new website, and setting up a new headquarters in NW Chinatown’s Goldsmith building. Phew! That’s a lot of newness.
Check out the official announcement on the TLE website: tenderlovingempire.com
For all you mamas and papas who feel it's a must for the little ones to step out in serious style, Black Wagon is on the top of our list for killer kiddo apparel. It certainly isn't the place to go on a budget, (a pair of leggings will run you $44) but if you're one of those parents that finds the importance in treating your child to that one (or more) special staple that they can wear OUT—or pass down—you know it's worth it. With brands like Mini Rodini, Anthem of The Ants, Munster and Herschel you know your spawn won't blend in with the crowd. If you shop this weekend, you'll save a little cash too during their back to school sale through Labor Day.
If you shop online use these codes to save:
10off50 for $10 off your purchase of $50 or more
15off75 for $15 off your purchase of $75 or more
20off100 for $20 off your purchase of $100 or more
40off200 for $40 off your purchase of $200 or more
Or go check out their stock in person:
3964 N Mississippi Ave
Animal Traffic will be marking down merchandise this weekend at both locations on both new and vintage goods, including clothing, shoes, and accessories. They're carrying brands like Hye Park and Lune, Woolrich White Label, Freenote Cloth, and more.
Animal Traffic is at 4000 N Mississippi Ave. and in downtown at 429 SW 10th Ave. The sale runs from Saturday, August 30th through Monday, September 1st. Check out the Animal Traffic website for more details.
A happy follow-up to a post I did on Dapper D, the first local clothing company to my knowledge that explicitly markets to the LGBTQ community with their designs of "men's style clothing for women." Back in May, I wrote about the Kickstarter they were running to get things off the ground, and then shortly after we featured the couple behind the line, Vanna and Rasha Pecoraro. In the short months since, their Kickstarter succeeded, and they opened for business at the start of this month, garnering press from places like Curve Magazine and Seattle Gay News. The clothing is simple and meant to be for everyday: shirts, hoodies, and simple accessories. It'll be interesting to see how things evolve, though, if the concept takes hold.
Vintalier announced recently that they're accumulating a massive haul of closeout inventory from another local shop. The items include a full rack of Opening Ceremony, shoes by Samantha Pleet, Luxury Rebel, Sass & Bide, Grey City and others. For men, there will be heritage brands like Post Overalls, Carters, and selvage denim. The said swag will be so large that it will take up half the shop, so it must be good stuff for them to rearrange their space to bring it in. They'll be putting away half their stock too to fit it all. There are hundreds of pairs of shoes. These items will be on sale for up to 70% off the original price and will only be available in the shop for 10 days.
This sounds like a sale to attend right away if you can.
Vintalier 412 NW 13th
August 29th-September 7th
If three's a trend, four is too many to ignore. Four of Portland's higher profile independent clothing(-ish) shops have either recently moved or are in the process of doing so, so in the interest of supplying you with the two hands needed to find one's own ass, please note the following:
—Stand Up Comedy is leaving its 811 E Burnside digs at the end of September, and expect to be open October 1 at 511 SW Broadway—aka the Morgan's Alley building. Says owner Diana Kim, "The new spot will be quite different, aesthetically speaking, as it has its own powerful architectural presence... And Broadway has a big appeal for us, being the traditional/historical retail block, but being sort of deeply unsexy in its current state." Ha!
—Speaking of 811 flight, Nationale is also pulling up stakes to head into the pandemonium of 3360 SE Division this fall. It's bigger, and the gallery will have its own separate space, with more room to fill out the product offerings as well.
—Poler has vacated its flagship store in the Blackbox at 1300 W Burnside, with Aesop quietly taking over. Their new home will be just around the corner, in one of the most coveted buildings in downtown (as seen from SW 11th & Washington):
—Also afoot in the West End are talks of Frances May looking at a potential move to a larger location, and a new tenant for the current space hot on its heels, with more to be announced next month.
A change could do you good, you know?
I recently got a chance to check out Kyoto, a fairly new menswear boutique and art gallery on 6th and Glisan in Old Town. The store draws inspiration—as you might gather from the name—from Japanese style, with an emphasis on high-end streetwear. Not exactly an untapped market, but Kyoto distinguishes itself by carrying brands and items that can't be found anywhere else in Portland, mixed in with a few local designer pieces. The general vibe is laid back but swagger-y, with unique, eye catching pieces like gold pants by Benny Gold, subtle floral printed shirts and shorts by Wolf & Man, and an impressive collection of multi-colored, limited edition Nikes. The gallery section of the store features striking, street inspired pieces by local artists like Beth Myrick and Brittany Osland.
Owner James Boyd is an industry veteran who previously ran a streetwear line called Prototype. He says opening the store has been a long term goal, but he "didn't think anyone would want it," due to the struggling economy. This year though, after shuttering Prototype's doors and selling the name to Microsoft, he decided the time was right to pursue this dream.
Check out some of the goods below:
We have another launch party to add to your First Thursday stroll in NW: Betsy + Iya are hosting the release of Modern Metal Hair Ties by Caravan Pacific. Designer Shannon Guirl says she came up with the idea while working in her studio; she needed a way to tie back her hair while using the lathe, and why not make it pretty? Why not make more? So she did. Each piece has an actual elastic hair tie connected to it that's removable, and there are several sizes available in both brass and copper. If you purchase one of these Portland-made beauties at the party you'll get a personal styling session with designer Emily Katz.
Betsy & Iya
2403 NW Thurman St
Thursday August 7th, 6-9pm
Longtime Portland import-retailer Cargo (which also has an adorable mini-me in Astoria) began on Portland's eastside before becoming one of the early adopters of the Pearl District 16 years ago. With their lease coming up, partners Patty Merrill and Bridgid Blackburn took advantage of the window to make a change, and set their sights back across the river, where they industrial grit and bohemianism they favor hasn't been polished out of existence. They were able to purchase 30,000 square feet of warehouse space at 81 SE Yamhill.
The building was built in 1908, and has suffered very little alteration, leaving the soaring brick walls, freight elevator, and windows (though they've been boarded up) intact. At a time when worry is growing that the development powers that be are looking to the central eastside as another potential Pearl, it's somewhat comforting to have one of its buildings come under the ownership of a business that takes a preservationist approach. In fact they intend to expand wholesale manufacturing of their own, with an increase in space that's roughly double what they're leaving behind. The top floor will be rented as creative office space (Blackburn agreed when I commented that I hoped the tenants would go easy on the drywall and leave the open floor plan), and Kure Juice Bar will inhabit a narrow ground level retail space that will integrate with the shop floor such that its glassed-in top will be visible from above.
Blackburn says the added space and relocation away from a heavily tourist area will give them more freedom to accumulate the merchandise that moves them along with traditional best sellers, and they're excited to be in a neighborhood that's been accumulating more design-oriented furniture and antiques spaces, like the relatively new Grand Avenue Marketplace. It often seems like Portland's independent business scene is dominated by relatively young ventures (I imagine Cargo in its early days as something akin to Alder & Co.), and it's nice to see an older standby that's survived the city's tumultuous economy not only hanging on but thriving and evolving.
They're tracking an opening in early fall, ideally with some overlap in the old location (380 NW 13th), where big sales are going down in advance of the transition.
Artist and designer Haley Ann will be taking over Yo Vintage! for the entire month of August. This Thursday they're having a celebration/sale to debut her pieces that are being installed. BLTN and Rill Rill are bringing some of their jewelry over to the party too, so arrive prepared to ooh (yeah) and aah and get your hands on some fantastic goods.
413 SW 13th Ave.
Thursday, August 7th 6-9pm
Someone desperately needs to open a candy store around the corner from Olo Fragrance's new joint (at 1407 SE Belmont) called Chocolate's Made. C'mon Portland, you do this kind of shit all the time. Do this one for me.
Olo's Heather Sielaff says she chose the dirty kids' limerick for the storefront/studio space because it's been an earworm for her since childhood, plus she "makes her shit in the back," so it "makes sense," She also says that if the name turns people off they're probably not her kind anyway. Sielaff's line is one of a handful of boutique fragrance companies coming to prominence in Portland, and it's quite arguably leading the pack. You can already find their scents in shops across the country (and locally at Beam & Anchor, Frances May, Nationale, and more), but the shop will be home base and the only source (at least out of the gates) for an in-production line of lotions and other body care products. For now it showcases apothecary items (which currently lean Japanese) and jewelry from the like of Rill Rill and Hazel Cox, among others. It's worth stopping in just to huff on everything, and hours are loose. If the lights are on and the door's unlocked, go in!
Ten years does deserve a celebration indeed, and Say Say knows it. Being open a decade is no small feat, so if you can make it to their storewide sale on Friday, July 25th every item in the shop will be available at a discounted price. They are also featuring a preview sale on facebook the night before, for those of you who'd rather avoid the crowds and get first pick, but you must RSVP because there are only a certain amount of spaces available at the preview sale.
In Store July 25th 11am-7pm
Say Say Boutique
1010 SW Morrison
Facebook Preview Sale Thursday, July 24th, 5-8pm
Beam & Anchor on N. Interstate is hosting an opening this Thursday to welcome Montana based artist Nicholas Coleman who paints the American West in the style of realism. His work invites viewers into vast spaces created with bold brush strokes and fade-away backgrounds. The opening will start at 6 pm with food from Roman Candle and an assortment of drinks from Union Wine Co., and Coleman's work will be hanging through August.
Nicholas Coleman @ Beam & Anchor
2710 N Interstate Ave
Maybe you've noticed that this rad former service station on N Interstate and Skidmore has been undergoing a transformation over the past few months:
It's been becoming Associated... again:
The space was taken over three months ago by Aaron Hoskins, Corey Davis, Caitlin Troutman, and Amanda Yakisoba (full disclosure: Hoskins and Troutman are friends of mine), who have transformed the '30s-era structure into a cafe, antique/collectibles store, and HQ for "artistic services":
We wish to facilitate, encourage, and encompass the Creative economy:
the idea is to offer not only wares (antiques and collectibles) but a physical platform for ideas: to allow other merchants and creative artisans a place to come together and manifest their ideas in a community setting, while simultaneously offering a stylized events venue for film, fashion, photography, performance art, music, etc.
Associated had their soft opener last night, and are officially opening doors next week on July 4. Hoskins has incredible taste when it comes to design, and word is that Portland makers like Mike Spencer and Hazel Cox will be represented on the retail side, while Stumptown Coffee, Fressen Artisan Bakery (yum, pretzels), and Farina Bakery will be on offer in the small cafe space. They're positioned to be "a landmark for the rebirth of the NeonSignDistrict," and even if antiques, plants, and local small goods aren't your bag, it seems like that neighborhood is in need of a good coffee joint. Check 'em out while the sun is shining and the outdoor seating is plentiful.