SOME OF THE WORLD’S BEST FASHION STORES ARE RESTORING OUR FAITH IN BRICKS AND MORTAR – AND REDEFINING THE FUTURE OF RETAIL. STARTING WITH LA HOTSPOT MAGASIN.
It’s something you hear a lot. With the rise of online shopping, actual stores are set to be a thing of the past – relegated to little more than nostalgic throwbacks, like landline phones or slow news days. But look around, and it’s clear something’s up. For starters, physical stores are hardly extinct. And while online competition has had an effect, in many cases it’s been a positive one; pushing good stores to be even better, in a bid to stand out from the pack. We’re talking more carefully curated product ranges, cooler interiors, better service. None of this will come as a surprise to Josh Peskowitz. The former writer for The Fader, Esquire and GQ worked as the men’s fashion director for Bloomingdales, before launching LA menswear mecca, Magasin in 2016. “A lot of the things I’ve done over the years have taught me various aspects of the menswear market,” he told GQ. “So I finally decided, fuck it, let me try and put all of them together in one place and see if other people respond.” They did. Today, Magasin has built a cult following not just in LA but around the world, thanks to exclusive drops from the likes of
Golden Goose, Dries Van Noten, Billy Reid and Levi’s Made and Crafted, with whom Peskowitz also collaborated on a unique capsule collection earlier this year. In other words, cool, hard-to-find menswear that keeps people coming back. “I had a very specific idea how I wanted it to look and feel,” he says. “We look for craftsmanship; we look for rarity. We want people to be able to come to the store and find something special. “We champion colour, we champion fabric, we champion cut,” he adds. “So people can understand how we can fit into their existing wardrobe – we’re not saying, ‘This is your uniform and you must dress like this’. We want people to have their individual style – ours is just one point of view.” While online stores have provided competition, Peskowitz isn’t one to lament the internet. Quite the opposite. He says it’s provided an opportunity to reach customers who might otherwise have never wandered through the door, and to cultivate a devoted following. “When you look around at the small, independent stores that people really admire, their influence has grown and grown. When everyone has access to everything all the time, the only thing that’s really of value is context and a point of view. “The idea of trying be a generalist is over,” he says. “If you try to set up a store that’s going to have something for everyone, you’re not going to get anyone. You need to stand for something. And the beauty of the internet is that if you do that, they can find you.” It doesn’t hurt, of course, that Peskowitz already had a following, well before Magasin opened its doors. A street-style star in his own right, he was regularly snapped front-row at fashion weeks around the world, and there were already plenty of fashion fanboys who subscribed to his point of view on fashion. Magasin just gave them a place to access it. “But,” Peskowitz is quick to point out, “nothing happens overnight. Whether you’re online or in-store, the most important thing is your reputation. And that takes a while to build.” MAGASINTHESTORE.COM
“THE IDEA OF TRYING TO BE A GENERALIST IS OVER.”
THIS PAGE AND RIGHT Inside Magasin, in LA’S Culver City, which features sleek, pared-back interiors and a carefully curated selection of menswear brands; founder Josh Peskowitz.