Re­tail ther­apy

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.

GQ (Australia) - - GENTLEMEN’S INITIATIVE -

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.

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