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Yesterday afternoon, we ventured past Foot Locker, Puma, David Z, Steve Madden, Aldo, Nine West, and Jump (among others) to check out the incoming Frye, Converse and Doc Martens stores, all of which are set to open this fall or winter. Considering that all three brands are already carried in Bloomingdales and other local retailers, and given the expensive rent in that hood, this appears to be a risky move. Then again, Soho's appetite for shoes does seem to be limitless.
Our tour begins with Converse, which will open a few storefronts down from Nine West at 560 Broadway, where the signage currently makes the bold statement "Soho's Most Visible Retail Space."
Right around the corner at 109 Spring Street, Frye will take over the former Von Dutch space, thereby thankfully eliminate trucker hats from New York's collective memory. There are cryptic signs stating "Closed! We are moving to 92 Mercer," which we assume refers to DC Shoes, which briefly occupied the store in the interim period. Is the shuttering of a stand-alone shoe store an indicator of the fate of these stores?
Keep walking down Spring, and you can see the yellow Doc Marten storefront where signage announces, "Coming Soon." The elegant and understated decor inside matches the Soho address but feels ironic for a brand that was made fashionable by the British punk rock scene.
All three of these labels began as practical brands, meant for factory workers or cowboys rather than fashionistas, and built their coolness on youth revivals rather than mainstream shoppers. Their appearance on the streets of Soho shows how far these brands have come—or how much they have strayed, depending on how you want to look at it.—Rachel Traub
· Lace Up, Dress Down [Racked NY]
· Spring Street in Soho Is About to Get Frye'd [Racked NY]
· The Potential Doc Martens Store Now Has an Address [Racked NY]