We attended the Buscemi shoe store opening in Soho on Thursday during NYFW. Check out the scene!
Buscemi was founded on a simple premise: make elegant sneakers. It’s an apparent paradox, something so street – so ubiquitous, so necessary, turned high fashion, design conscious, even polite. But stepping into the Buscemi flagship shop in Soho, which opened on Thursday, it becomes clear that elegance and sneakers just requires an imaginative mind to bring them together. An imaginative mind paired with a willingness to create the very guidelines and rules of the idea. From a business of fashion standpoint, Buscemi, founded by Jon Buscemi in 2013, is in a perfect position for success. As artists and rappers like Young Thug and Kanye West increasingly incorporate fashion and design into their music and purviews (Young Thug was spotted at VFiles earlier this week and dropped an art-influenced new album), the industry is seeing a melding of interests like never before. In part, the performance of unlimited discretionary income, Buscemi is paying respects to the origins of sneakers while raising their profile to something exceptional and worthy of that income. Not to say sneakers were never taken seriously in fashion, or only suddenly worth investing in, but to take sneakers seriously in a new context. Preserving the D.I.Y. element, the artistry, and, undeniably, the hype.
The flagship store, located in Soho NYC, is a grand space. Crisp, too-white walls are accented by industrial-chic florescent lightings- narrow shoots of light are a couture approach to the warehouse consideration. The flooring is carpet- apparently ripped out of a Donald Trump casino lobby, done in seductive gold and maroon fan designs that, in the context of the sneakers, just seems exactly right. Centering the room are a series of sufficiently gaudy pyramids in gold, silver, some glowing. Perched inside the largest pyramid in a glass case, as if the holy grail of all, the subject of worship, to inspire awe, is a pair of Buscemi sneakers encrusted in diamonds with gold detailing (what’s that about hype?). At $132,000, there’s no question that income suddenly becomes a careful question. For Fall 2016, the collection is refined, with a variety of slides, hightop and mids, with statement locks and leather on leather, almost invoking images of a Hermès Birkin-turned-shoe.
Coming in at 4,000 square feet, the space is flexible. In consideration of the art element of sneaker culture, Buscemi will invite artists to use the front space to create installations (the pyramids are temporary, and were conceived by Buscemi). Most retail is taking place toward the back, behind a tall wall. It’s a comfortable salon with Buscemi’s accessories and shoes lining the walls and the point-of-sale hidden almost entirely.
The opening party was a dynamic affair, Ketel One and Perrier Jouet with guests including plenty of models, Sofia Richie (but no Justin Beiber), Phillip Lim, Rich the Kid, Scott Disick and many more, including a few CNBC hosts, trying on the shoes. A particularly charming moment was Buscemi helping a child slip on a $250 pair of sneakers, helping him loosen the laces and walk around. Goes to show Buscemi’s in it for the long haul.
47 Wooster St
New York, NY 10013
Exclusive products including exotic skins and hand embroidered footwear and accessories for men, women and children retailing from $250-$10,000.