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Today marks the grand opening of Space Ninety 8, the Urban Outfitters concept store modeled after a similar LA shop—but with a Brooklyn twist. John Hauser, chief officer of brand experience, told us that the design team took advantage of what the old warehouse had to offer in terms of architecture, including brick, exposed wooden beams, and "lots of crazy levels."
Check out our floor-by-floor tour of the new shop after the jump and learn about some pertinent details of each area, like when The Gorbals restaurant is slated to open and which local artisans are featured in the Market Space. We're starting with the first floor, working our way up to the rooftop, then plummeting down to the basement (via elevator, of course).
↑ The First Floor: Market Space, Urban Renewal, Shop-in-Shops
Directly to your left when you enter from N. 6th Street is the Market Space, dedicated to local designers. All 44 of them were hand-selected by Marissa Maximo, UO's director of brand relations and special products, and each brand has created products that are exclusive to Space Ninety 8, whether it's a pattern in a new color or the cut of a dress, and only available in limited quantity.
Were any of these designers, many of whom are one-man (or woman) operations, hesitant about working with a big chain? Not really. "I think this exceeded all of our expectations," said Jessica Barensfeld who's selling products here under two labels—Jessica Barensfeld Adornment, a jewelry collection, and Lynn & Lawrence, a line of knit hats made with Simon Howell.
Also on this floor are two of what we'll call temporary "pop-ups-in-shop". For the month of April, Brooklyn-based Salt Surf has built a surfer's fantasy Californian garage to show swim trunks, surfboards, and accessories, while online-based Tee Party looks like a display you'd find at Coachella.
The right half of the floor is dedicated to Urban Renewal, which has vintage and re-worked pieces for both men and women. There's also some kitschy products from independent designers, like candles and "deerskin medicine bags/crystal pouches".
Last but not least, there's a shoe boutique. Here is where you can pick up the season's must-haves—Birkenstocks—as well as a variety of other brands.
↑ The Second Floor: Women's
Take the staircase one flight up to find womenswear, which also includes beauty products, a bunch of accessories, and even some home goods. The main design feature here is this living plant structure. As for products, you'll find a mix of what's in store at other Urban Outfitters across the country, as well as some new brands.
↑ The Third Floor: Men's and Music
There's a diagonal staircase on the women's floor that directly leads you to menswear, which has the same mix of old and new brands as women's does. There's also a selection of backpacks and shoes.
And in the back corner of the room you'll find an eclectic mix of records, record players, books, and more. The book selection, according to Hauser, is a bit "nicer" than what they carry in other stores. There's even a charging station for iPhones and a little seating area, making it a good halfway point to just chill—tired yet?
↑ The Bar, the Restaurant, and the Rooftop
Take a short staircase up from the men's floor to hit up the bar, which will be fully operational by the end of next week. A large sliding wooden door can seal off that staircase for when patrons are there after store hours. And just upstairs from there is The Gorbals restaurant, which should start serving in May. It features an open kitchen layout and will start out with dinner, but could eventually expand to weekend brunch.
And above that is the rooftop, with plenty of handcrafted wooden seating and plants, including a giant rubber tree that barely fit in the elevator. You've got views of the Williamsburg Bridge, the World Trade Center, and The Empire State Building from here.
The Basement: Adidas Originals ↑ Last but not least, the basement level of Space Ninety 8 will be dedicated to a single brand's pop-up, and the inaugural tenant is Adidas Originals, who will be in residence through May 9.
The crazy bright print you see all over the walls and display were hand-painted by local artist Jason Woodside, who will be on hand this weekend to screen print his designs on anything you bring into the store. Expect to see lots of events going on here, including nail art in two weeks.
As for the merchandise, you'll find the athletic brand's more fashion-forward offerings here, like their special design for the upcoming World Cup. There's also the Blue label, as well as the brand's most recent collaboration with Opening Ceremony.
· Space Ninety 8 [Official website]
· How Urban Outfitters' Concept Store Supports Local Designers [Racked NY]
· Space Ninety 8 Is Right on Track for an Early April Opening [Racked NY]