Downtown Vancouver’s emerging luxury retail district in the Alberni Street precinct is now home to a new international haute-streetwear retailer with a cultish following.
Off-White’s flagship store in Vancouver, located in The Carlyle building’s laneway storefront space, at 101-1076 Alberni Street, opened its doors on Thursday.
Fitting the retailer’s concept, it is an unconventional, off-the-beaten-path store location – about 60 ft. east of Thurlow Street in the laneway, right behind stores such as De Beers, Prada, Saint Laurent, and Moncler in Vancouver’s emerging luxury retail district.
With about 4,300 sq. ft. of space spanning two floors, the Vancouver location is one of the chain’s largest stores – far grander than Canada’s first location in Toronto’s Yorkville district, which is a 2,400 sq. ft. store.
The Vancouver store follows the same interior design concept the retailer is known for using in its other global stores.
“The contemporary style of the brand pervades the new space, with contrasting architectural elements and colours,” says a release.
“Bare concrete defines the space from floor to ceiling, while modern design permeates with mint green velvet curtain and carpeting in the same tone. The raw feel is punctuated by luxury details such as golden display units and fixtures.”
The store’s location is unique, and significant as this area will eventually be activated as part of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association’s (DVBIA) project to transform three laneways in the city centre into pedestrian-friendly spaces.
“This is really exciting! During our Reimagine Downtown Vancouver visioning process, people told us that they wanted our alleys to be more active, places to visit and to transform back entrances into stores and restaurants,” Charles Gauthier, President and CEO of the DVBIA, previously told Daily Hive.
“They often pointed to examples in Melbourne and Seattle for us to emulate. I hope that this is just the first of many businesses that consider this as a very viable option.”
Off-White was founded as an online brand in 2013 by Virgil Abloh, who is also the creative director for Kanye West. The retailer strives to be “a bridge between the worlds of streetwear and high fashion” and is known for its edgy designs featuring thick diagonal stripes.
It held its first Paris showroom presentation in January 2014, and has since expanded with 24 permanent stores around the world and collections for both men and women.
The Vancouver store currently showcases the retailer’s spring-summer 2018 collections and an exclusive collection dubbed “MARBLE.”