When Alternative Marketplaces Become Convention

Retail apocalypse is ripping through the United States leaving brick-and-mortar boutiques and mall chain behemoths alike wobbling on the brink of irrelevance as online shopping becomes the norm for consumers. The Atlantic reported the first third of 2017 has witnessed nine major retail bankruptcies, major apparel companies’ stocks plunging to new lows, and flagship after flagship closing their doors. The meteoric rise of alternative, often community-run platforms for buying, selling and trading goods online has directly crippled the retail industry. Shoppers, who are already conditioned to shop on sale, now have access to secondhand designer items at mere fractions of retail prices.

Alternative marketplaces are nowhere near a new phenomenon. In the days before sites like eBay, Y! Japan and Grailed, dedicated shoppers scoured flea markets, thrift shops and consignment stores alike for designer threads amidst piles of musty windbreakers and knockoff COOGI sweaters. Each independent, enthusiast-run online shop carrying marked-up goods initially purveyed through Rakuten mirrors my own foray into the world of e-commerce. In the 2000s, my middle-school self was conducting a legally-questionable scheme of funneling East Asian street fashion back to the United States to shill at higher prices on LiveJournal. As the internet has matured, the number of alternative marketplaces has multiplied and with each iteration they become more targeted and communal.

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Tiger Trading Co Pop-Up

Products are a reflection of the culture they are created in and one of the best parts of travelling is being able to bring home items from diverse foreign cultures. Tiger Beer was Singapore’s first locally brewed beer and they have brought some great products from across Asia together for a special New York pop-up store. Tiger … Read more

Reigning Champ Vancouver Flagship Store Opening

Athletic minded sportswear label Reigning Champ has opened it’s first flagship store in Vancouver, Canada. The store is beautifully designed by architect Peter Cardew. The minimal space furnished with furnishings made of subway tile and natural wood. I love many of the details in the space from the clothes hangers to the way folded crewneck sweatshirts are presented. The address is below for those who want to visit.

2119 West 4th Ave.
Vancouver BC Canada V6K 1N7

For those who can’t make it to the new flagship, East Dane has a large selection of Reigning Champ at the moment. Click through for more images of the shop.

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Interview : Graham Newmarch of re.porter

This past week I saw a notification pop-up from Graham Newmarch inviting me to become a fan of re.porter. Clicking through to the facebook page and subsequently the website, I was greeted with pieces from CCP, Ann Demeulemeester, and Julius. What initially struck me was the quality and consistency of the styling and the rarity … Read more

Spaces : Undercover Tokyo Boutique ‘Less but Better’

Undercover is a brand that fully commits to it’s retail buildouts throughout Asia. The shop in Tokyo in Aoyama is definetly a must-see when I finally visit Japan. Despite Jun Takahashi’s design sensibilities shifting throughout the years , what has not changed is his reverence of retail as more than a place of commerce. Jun … Read more