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    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    Literary Retail

    Complex Magazine has created the Complex Platinum Club, which is an invite-only experience that brings pages of the magazine to life. This exclusive invite-only retail store is on 41st street in New York City. It carries an impressive list of duds from MHI, Penfield, Staple, Modern Amusement, WESC, as well as footwear from Jordan, Y-3, Clae, Supra (Gold Skytops) and more. Expected to coincide with each publication, featured products will end up in the store. As of right now the store is invite only, but you can get on the list here.

    Wired started this with their Wired Store which pops up every holiday season to show the latest inaccessible gadgets we all covet. The Complex store is good for several reasons:

    1) The hype and release nature of streetwear products
    2) The covet and hunt process consumer behavior of purchasing unique streetwear
    3) The insider-only status of 'authentic' streetwear retail locations
    4) Brings the lifestyle mag to life

    Streetwear is a somewhat fickle cat-and-mouse game of my brand is cooler than yours and my personal statement is about slying embracing change but going my own way or illustrious destruction mantras. Complex has long been the mainstream staple (Ecko-started and run) of cool, urban brands but never moved beyond the occasional party or one-off. Establishing a retail store is a smart move, albeit it brings the 'mainstream' label to the scene. Will really be interesting to see how the kids react. On one hand it could access to a myriad of sources with its connections, on the other it could become the "lugz" of streetwear retail. Streetwear has a level of authenticity, but this location could seem too forced.

    Certainly a brand which preaches fresh consumption needs an outlet beyond just finding the products. A retail location is a natural fit, and i would appreciate more magazines to do so in the future. Maxim could own guys, People could be the epicenter of women's beauty and entertainment, and Sports Illustrated could create sport retail locations. It seems to me to that channels that are the aggregators of news and new products, ought to be selling them. Consumers have already invested money and time to learn what they find, why not ultimately sell their featured products direct to them?





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