When we think of Seattle, thoughts of the epicenter of grunge music, a cool art scene and a town transformed through technology come to mind. Few think of fashion, though grunge chic seemed to radiate from the Northwest to the rest of the America in the late nineties. GQ has recognized four great stores out of the Seattle area as being in their 100 Best Men’s Stores in America for 2007, so we figured it was worth a look at a couple of these stores to see what separates them from the rest.
Blackbird (Men’s Clothing & Effects) is a cool store on 22nd Ave in Seattle which has their own blog that is updated daily, and they state that they will ship anywhere “that law will let”. The blog has a news feed that serves up information from the fashion grapevine for devotees, and the only recognizable brands that we found were Brixton, Raf Simmons & Triple Five Soul, so we knew we were amongst good company for those looking for something a bit different from the ordinary. They list their prices on the website, and you can search their archives to see which gear they were discussing early on. A click on the Travota link showed great merchandise such as their White/navy check “Our Lattice” jacket ($295) and these “Expatriate” pocket tee in navy/white and cream/red stripe ($64.” that were posted earlier as well as a link to an article about the label on DNR. It’s a different way of shopping, a bit unusual for a legitimate store to present their merchandise in this way but preferable to using the auction sites. Shoppers can email or call in their orders, and receive the type of one-on-one service you can’t get with traditional fashion sites.
This store is a haven for skateboarders and hip-hop fashion devotees looking for something different. They have a website which offers their own store label with such classics as a t-shirt depicting a scene from the WTO riots, then again we found a fun t-shirt that depicted a dancer selling something that we’d rather not go into details over. Check out their “friends” section for other websites of interest. This site does offer high quality gear, at a rather affordable price, $35 for t-shirts inside the US $40 outside (yes that price does include shipping), that is original and authentic, as you will not find it anywhere else.
Seattle has a lot to offer to fashion discourse that individuals elsewhere in the states in cities like New York, Chicago or L.A., traditionally revered for their creative tastes in fashion, have yet to realize. Fashion is typically found in the unlikeliest of places, and Seattle is no exception; take what this great city has to offer and create a unique look of your own, taking advantage of the creative that permeates in the Emerald City.
– Chris Kendalls